WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind has worked for many years to secure privacy and nonvisual access for blind voters; and
WHEREAS, on rare occasions blind voters still experience difficulties with personnel in polling places do not understanding a the specifics of a blind person's right to assistance in the voting booth; and
WHEREAS, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that every polling place have at least one voting machine that permits nonvisual access by the time of the 2006 elections; and
WHEREAS, federal money is available through HAVA to enable Minnesota to implement the nonvisual access provisions, but expenditure of these funds must be authorized by the Minnesota legislature; and
WHEREAS, during the legislative session of 2004 no action was taken regarding the disposition of HAVA funding; and
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota is in a unique position to help the legislature know how best to use the federal funds and is also in a position to help train election judges about the voting rights of blind citizens; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this twenty-fourth day of October, 2004, in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota that this organization urge the Minnesota Legislature to act decisively to appropriate funding so that the requirements of the Help America Vote act can be implemented in a timely fashion; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization work closely with the Secretary of State's office to ensure appropriate and consistent training of election officials on the rights under the law and consideration of privacy of blind voters, and to ensure appropriate implementation of non-visual voting methods required under the Help America Vote Act.