KERN COUNTY, Calif. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults living in the United States have a disability. So what’s being done to make sure polling places are accessible in today’s election?
Watch above to see a video made by the nonprofit Disability Rights California.
The video explains, “the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, sets the rules for the administration of federal elections. And this allows you to navigate and scroll the ballot. These rules require every polling place to have at least one voting system that allows voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently."
The organization said voters with disabilities must be treated the same as anyone else, and "poll workers should not challenge your ability to vote based on your disability. If you are properly registered to vote, they should offer you a choice of the paper ballot or the accessible voting system.”
In an email, Acting Elections Division Chief Laura Cantu said each polling site in Kern County has at least one accessible booth set up. They will have an accessible ballot marking device for voters who need an audio ballot or magnified ballot, which can also be accessed from a wheelchair.
Cantu said for any voters with limited reaching abilities, there is a controller that can placed in their lap when using the accessible ballots as well.
The California Secretary of State’s website has American Sign Language videos translating important voter information as well as audio and enlarged text versions of the official voter information guide.
According to the Secretary of State Office, there will also be a private survey they encourage voters with disabilities to take after the election so they can continuously improve their voting experience.