FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Fred Nisen
Disability Rights California
Phone: (510) 267-1200
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Trouble-Shooting on June 3: Disability Rights California Operates Hotline for Voters with Disabilities
Oakland, CA – Californians with disabilities who are voting in the primary election on June 3 have an ally in ensuring that they have full and equal access to the process. With funding from the Help America Vote Act, Disability Rights California will operate a toll-free hotline for voters with disabilities who have difficulty accessing polling places, casting ballots or simply have questions about voting. The toll-free number for voice calls is888-569-7955. The statewide number for video calls is 510-379-4129.
The primary purpose of the hotline is to fix problems on Election Day, so people with disabilities can vote independently and privately. Examples of barriers experienced by voters with disabilities include:
- Inoperable accessible voting equipment
- Insufficiently trained poll workers who cannot meet the needs of voters with disabilities
- No access to ballots for voters living in nursing homes and other residential facilities
- Polling places with inaccessible parking or steep curb ramps
- Narrow doorways and aisles at poll sites
- Voting equipment placed on inaccessible tables or stages
- Poll sites said to be “accessible" but are not Disability Rights California will use the information it receives through the hotline to identify and respond to systemic issues to make it easier for voters with disabilities to cast their vote privately and independently in the November election.
Our hotline will be open between 7am and 8pm on Election Day, the same hours the polls are open, and we can receive voice and video calls. Individuals who speak languages other than English should state their language and an interpreter will be connected to the call. Callers using the California Relay Service, including Speech-to-Speech, can dial 711.
Disability Rights California has several publications regarding the rights of voters with disabilities. Examples include publications about: the voting rights of people with developmental disabilities; how a person using a signature stamp can vote; how a person who is hospitalized on Election Day can vote; and the voting rights of people who are in a nursing home or other institutions outside of their county of residence. These and other resources regarding voting rights are available at http://www.disabilityrightsca.org/issues/voting_pubs.htm.
Callers can contact Disability Rights California year-round regarding voting issues and other disability-related issues by calling 800-776-5746.
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