Regarding Refining Nonvisual Absentee Voting

A2020-01: Regarding Refining Nonvisual Absentee Voting

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Topics : Voting

WHEREAS, universal suffrage, the hard-won right of every citizen to vote freely and secretly, is the bedrock upon which our democracy functions; and

WHEREAS, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that voters with disabilities be provided the opportunity to exercise the right to vote that is equivalent to the opportunity provided voters without disabilities; and

WHEREAS, because of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota's work with the state legislature, Secretary of State, and other partners, non-visually accessible voting machines have been available at each polling place in Minnesota for nearly fifteen years; and

WHEREAS, this year, for the first time, the option to vote privately, safely and accessibly  from home became available to blind Minnesotans because the Secretary of State introduced an electronic tool to mark absentee ballots; and

WHEREAS, while a voter using this new system can keep the ballot itself completely private, a nonvisual method of filling in the required form fields on the envelopes has yet to be developed; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in Convention assembled this 8th day of November, 2020, that this organization commend Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon for implementation of an accessible ballot-marking tool enabling private absentee voting by blind minnesotans; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon the Secretary of State to continue to work with the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota to make further improvements to the accessible absentee voting system, including modifications allowing the entire process to be completed independently in a nonvisual manner.

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