Builds on Efforts to Make Voting More Accessible for Individuals with Disabilities
June 14, 2016
BALTIMORE, MD – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), working with the National Braille Press (NBP), today released a voting rights card in braille and large print to assist voters who are visually impaired and blind as they prepare to participate in the 2016 presidential election.
EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks promoted the card in an address to this year’s annual conference of the National Disability Rights Network.
“We believe it is very important to offer the card in braille and large print,” said Chairman Hicks. “We are proud to work with the National Braille Press to make this happen,” he said. “As people with disabilities go to the polls this fall, this resource will help remind them of their federal voting rights.”
“Accessibility is at the core of our mission at the National Braille Press and we were pleased to work on this project to create and produce a federal voting rights card in braille,” said Brian MacDonald, President of the National Braille Press. “It is important for the blind and visually impaired to have access to information to make informed decisions during this coming election season and beyond.”
Today’s announcement follows EAC’s public hearing on April 27 to receive testimony from election administrators and voters with disabilities about accessible voting and the progress made since passage of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). HAVA requires that individuals with disabilities be given the same opportunity to vote freely and independently as all other voters. During the hearing, EAC released a voting rights card to assist voters with disabilities at the polls. The card is available in text format at BeReady16.
The Commission is also making resources available on its website for election officials to use to ensure polling places and other election services are accessible for voters with disabilities as part of its #BeReady16 effort.
The EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was passed by the U.S. Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation's voting process, address improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election, and to provide federal funding to states for new voting equipment. HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research, and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections. More information is available at www.eac.gov