Re: [OVC-discuss] Privately and independently -- how will OVC dealwiththis?

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Jun 28 2009 - 13:34:27 CDT

Jim,

I wrote,

>> Even if a machine would allow them to
>> vote privately and independently at the pollsite, they're
>> just not going to use it anyway.
>> Informal studies show that practically no one uses existing
>> accessible voting machines.
>
Then you responded:

> This is exactly what happened with access to public transportation:
> at first, there was almost no ridership, mostly due to low
> awareness and low expectations on the disability side, and poor
> training and maintenance on the public transit side. Over the years,
> as people with disabilities began to experience and expect
> accessible buses, ridership continues to grow....
>
You make a lot of good points, but I don't think this particular analogy is
valid.

Accessible public transportation can enable a person with disabilities to
get from point A to point B in a circumstance where they simply have no
other means. It's not just a question of being able to travel with
independence. A 15-yr old nephew may be able to help Aunt Mathilda mark or
read her ballot, but the nephew cannot drive Aunt Mathilda across town, or
anywhere else for that matter. Timing and resources are also major
considerations with transportation. Aunt Mathilda may need to get to a 1:00
pm doctor's appt across town.

In other words, the incentive is much higher to use public transportation if
available. The ability to utilize it can have immediate material benefit to
the rider. If a voter with disabilities receives satisfactory assistance
the her ballot at home, the incentive to go to the poll site is zero.

Maybe there isn't much in the way of data, but we need some better data. It
is unconscionable that the EAC would be handing out requirements along these
lines without doing some research. They should at least conduct some
surveys. Maybe we could cause them to do a little more research.

Alan

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Received on Tue Jun 30 23:17:17 2009

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