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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Voter Verification Systems

Whereas, the Help America Vote Act and Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as other federal and state laws, guarantee the right of all Americans with disabilities to vote privately and independently;

Whereas, these laws, taken together, require the entire voting experience to be accessible to persons with disabilities, including those who are blind or have low vision;

Whereas, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has been at the forefront of advocacy ensuring that this right is implemented for every person in America with a disability;

Whereas, areas in which voting rights advocacy by NCIL have occurred include accessible voting machines, accessible voter registration platforms, online ballot platforms, and access to sample ballots;

Whereas, voter verification, the process by which a voter is deemed eligible or ineligible to vote, remains largely inaccessible to persons who are blind or have low vision or have other disabilities;

Whereas, now that jurisdictions are considering switching from hard copy voting rolls to electronic pollbooks as the preferred method for maintaining the information for voter verification;

Whereas, the technology exists to make this information, through an interactive platform, available to persons with disabilities;

Whereas, at least one company has already designed a pollbook kiosk that allows voters who are blind, have low vision, are deaf, have limited dexterity and other disabilities to access not only information about the election in general, but also address related information on file with election officials which will ultimately allow voters to communicate with the jurisdiction to alter any incorrect information that may impact their right to cast a ballot;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the National Council on Independent Living in convention assembled on the 23rd of July, 2019, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC that this organization take all steps necessary, beginning with advocacy with the Federal Election Assistance Commission and the National Association of Secretaries of State, for the recognition that electronic pollbooks or voter verification systems should be accessible to persons who have a disability and for the adoption of a requirement that every jurisdiction must implement an accessible voter verification system.