Sara

Election 2016: Access at the Polls

Posted on November 15, 2016

by Sara Squires

In the weeks and months leading up to the November 2016 Election, Disability Rights Maine worked with individuals with disabilities, their supporters, and state and local officials to make sure people were aware of their voting rights.  We visited vocational clubhouses, held voting fairs, spoke with voting clerks, and hosted demonstrations of Maine’s new accessible voting system, the ExpressVote.  Our goal was to ensure that people with disabilities knew they had a right to vote – independently, at their polling place, on Election Day.

Although we consider our efforts to have been successful, DRM also knows that many individuals still faced barriers when it finally came time to cast their votes.  On Election Day, our staff visited polling places across the state and they witnessed first-hand the lack of accessibility at many of these locations.  We also staffed a voting hotline and assisted a number of individuals who faced the threat of not being able to vote.

Here are just a few examples of inaccessible voting stories that individuals shared with DRM:

Disability Rights Maine believes that voters with disabilities have the right to vote independently and privately.  Although the election may be over, DRM continues to work with state and local officials to ensure that voting is accessible for all – always. 

If you experienced issues related to being a voter with a disability during the recent election, Disability Rights Maine would like to talk to you now.  To tell us your story, please contact us at 1-800-452-1948 or via email at rlangley@drme.org.

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