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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Does your State Have Online Voter Registration Yet? An Update from the NCIL Voting Rights Subcommittee

By Jim Dickson and Kathy Hoell, Co-Chairs, NCIL Voting Rights Subcommittee

Recently, a number of states have realized that there are advantages to the state to have Online Voter Registration, so we have seen a number of Online Voter Registration sites becoming active.  The Secretary of State’s office has responsibility for elections; the result was a rush to create Online Voter Registration in time for next year’s presidential election while saving money.  In January 2015, the ACLU released a study of 20 states that have Online Voter Registration sites. Only the site in California was accessible to all people with disabilities.

So is your state’s Online Voter Registration site inaccessible? The things you need to consider are:

  • Can an individual who is blind or visually impaired access the voter registration form utilizing a screen reader?
  • Can an individual with a cognitive disability understand the language used on the voter registration form?
  • Can an individual with an upper mobility impairment utilize the voter registration form using their technology, i.e. voice recognition or retina tracking software?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions then your Online Voter Registration site is accessible to people with disabilities. For more information, feel free to contact the NCIL Voting Rights Subcommittee at khoell@cox.net

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