Voters with disabilities
By Veronica Castelo, News 10 Now Web Staff
Andria Doldo had a rough time voting in last year's presidential elections.
"I had to be put up on a stool in order to try and reach the voting, the poll levers. It took two people to lift me up," Doldo said.
Pulling the lever wasn't easy either.
"I had to have someone help me and that takes away the whole privacy issue for me," she said.
Andria wasn't the only person with a disability who encountered problems during the election. According to the New York State Independent Living Council Report, 92 people had problems accessing a voting machine, voting booth, or polling site.
Elizabeth Patience of the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living says three of those complaints came from Jefferson County. County election officials say they never received a complaint directly but agree it is a statewide issue that should be addressed.
"We have a machine in at least each town that is accessible. We also have offered through the years paper ballot which can be filled out early," said Cindy Corbett, Deputy Election Commissioner.
For Andria, filling out a ballot at home isn't enough.
"I am an American citizen just like anybody else and I feel that people with disabilities have the same rights as people without disabilities to go out and cast there votes the same way anybody would," Doldo said.
Patience says the NSIL's suggestions for better voting accessibility have been well taken by the county.
"The interaction between Jefferson and Lewis County has been very positive. There have been a lot of significant changes," Patience said.
Now Patience urges policy makers to go the extra mile as well, and pass legislation that would finance accessible voting machines, booths, and sites in every county.
Jefferson County election officials are not handling Tuesday's elections but say village and towns in the area have been well versed in helping people with disabilities vote.
Copyright ©2005 TWEAN News Channel of Syracuse, LLC, d/b/a News 10 Now.
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2005 TWEAN d.b.a. News 10 Now
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.