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A2001-01: Regarding Accessible Voting

Adopted in: 2001

Topics: Elections, Voting, Accessible Technology

WHEREAS, every American has the right to a secret ballot when voting for elected officials; and

WHEREAS, blind voters have never been able to experience privacy in the voting booth because ballots come in printed format and must be read to the blind voter by another person; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota law allows blind voters the maximum amount of privacy possible while providing for reading assistance when needed; and

WHEREAS, technology enabling nonvisual access to ballots is now available and would allow blind voters the same privacy afforded to other citizens; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute 206.81 (Subsec. B), passed during the special session of July 9th, 2001 and taking effect on January 1, 2002, requires that the Secretary of State license one or more touch-sensitive direct recording electronic voting systems for experimental use at an election before their approval for general use; and

WHEREAS, at least one of the voting systems under this statute must permit blind or visually impaired voters to cast a ballot independently and privately; And

WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has the expertise to guide the Secretary of State in promoting and evaluating nonvisual access in voting machines; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, in convention assembled this 27th day of October 2001, in the city of Bloomington that this organization offer its expertise to assist Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer in advancing the availability of nonvisual access in voting; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization offer to train blind and visually impaired individuals in the use of this new voting equipment.

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