election coverage
9:10 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Polling places prepared to help disabled voters

Ohioans who are vision impaired or are not able to walk easily should find it relatively easy to cast ballots at polling places.

In an interview with Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles, Secretary of State Jon Husted says improvements have been made to help make sure Ohioans who have disabilities also have the opportunity to cast a ballot in person.


Husted - We have equipment at every polling location to accommodate visually impaired and deaf voters and handicapped voters of different persuasions. So we are ADA, HAVA compliant and there should not be a problem for the voter at a polling location. And if you are physically handicapped at a level that you cannot come into the polling location, they will take a ballot out to you in the car.


Ingles - Really?


Husted - Yea


Ingles - so what should people expect if they say...cannot see the ballot to vote it? Husted - There is a way you can vote using an audible tool.


Ingles - Like a headset or something?


Husted - Uh huh. Yea.


Ingles - Does someone have to stand in there to help you or can you do it by yourself?


Husted - Someone can help you but someone does not have to help you. It's all "Help America Vote" compliant and it's been reviewed by the board of voting machine examiners in Ohio and tested at the local level. So it goes through three checks before going to the polls.


Ingles - And if you can't get in to the polls but you want to go to the polls to vote, someone will bring it to your car?


Husted - You can literally honk your horn and someone will come out and bring you a ballot if you are physically unable to enter the polling locations.And understand, we also applied for federal grants to make all of our polling locations handicapped accessible. We've worked very hard the past couple of years to make sure every polling place is handicapped accessible


Ingles- So how often does that happen...that people pull up and want the ballot brought to their car?


Husted- Extremely rare but it has happened. Ingles - Do most people who have disabilities still prefer to get a mail in ballot? Husted - Oh, I can't say I know how most people with disabilities try to do it. I think it's an individual's preference and we try to accommodate all of those different ways that people try to cast ballots


Husted says people with disabilities who have additional questions about how to vote should contact their local board of elections.