Issue 7 September 24 2020

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TRUTH TO POWER

Doug Towne on Accessible Remote Learning

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WEB SCAN RESULTS – PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

Donald Trump Campaign HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.donaldjtrump.com/  WAVE reporting 0 accessibility errors and 16 contrast errors, no PDF content discovered

Joe Biden Campaign HTML  https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://joebiden.com/#   WAVE reports 70 accessibility errors and 26 contrast errors, no PDF content discovered

 

Blue and Red Iconic Image of Capitol Building

Government Spotlight

LAWSUIT AGAINST NC: ABSENTEE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS NOT ACCESSIBLE TO 105000 VOTERS

North Carolina voters who are blind or have limited mobility will not be able to cast private, independent ballots from home this fall unless the state makes changes, according to a lawsuit filed by the national nonprofit Disability Rights Advocates. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in North Carolina and makes claims that state practices violate two federal laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Under both laws, the complaint argues, the state is required to provide an accessible vote-by-mail option for voters with disabilities…

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ENHANCED VOTING OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR VOTERS

ACLU SUES MISSISSIPPI TO MAKE ABSENTEE VOTING MORE ACCESSIBLE DURING PANDEMIC

LAG CONTINUES FOR FEDERAL VOTING SYSTEM STANDARDS

WEB SCAN RESULTS – STATE ELECTION SITES

California Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/  WAVE reporting 0 accessibility errors and 0 contrast errors, Tagged PDF files with minor issues

Florida Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/ WAVE reporting 5 accessibility errors and 23 contrast errors, Tagged PDF files with considerable errors

FACING COURT CHALLENGE FROM DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES, NH EXPANDS ACCESSIBLE ABSENTEE VOTING

With a week to go before the state primary election, New Hampshire is launching a new absentee voting system meant to allow more voters to cast a ballot privately and independently. Until now, New Hampshire did not allow those who are blind or experience other print disabilities to request or complete an absentee ballot without assistance. Accessible voting options are provided at all New Hampshire polling places, but many voters — with the encouragement of state election officials — will rely on absentee voting this fall due to the ongoing pandemic…

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VIRGINIA AGREES TO MAKE MAIL-IN VOTING ACCESSIBLE TO BLIND VOTERS WHO SUED

For vision-impaired voters in Virginia, there was no easy way to vote. They would either have to risk their health to vote in person or forgo voter privacy by asking someone to fill in the blanks on their mail-in ballot forms. “You pretty much had to decide whether you wanted to vote independently or safely. You couldn’t do both things,” said Colleen Miller, director of the disability Law Center of Virginia. Now, however, after the center and several other groups advocating for the blind filed a federal lawsuit, the Virginia Department of Elections has agreed to offer a new option…

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Iconic image of a hand dropping a ballot into a square receptacle

Accessible Elections

ADVOCATES: PA MAIL-IN BALLOTS NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED VOTERS

You’re going blind, doctors told her. There’s no cure. Figure it out. Day by day, her field of vision fell away. She earned a master’s degree and raised three children. Lynn Heitz learned to live without vision, and she will not be denied the right to vote. More than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians, about 14% of the state’s population, has some form of disability, according to U.S. Census estimates. That group was largely overlooked as governments planned elections during the pandemic, advocates said…

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WEB SCAN RESULTS – STATE ELECTION SITES

Pennsylvania Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/Pages/default.aspx  WAVE reporting 3 accessibility errors and 0 contrast errors, Untagged inaccessible PDF documents

Michigan Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633—,00.html  WAVE reporting 40 accessibility errors and 0 contrast errors, Untagged inaccessible PDF documents

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Current Legal Actions

DISABILITY RIGHTS GROUP SUING TEXAS COUNTIES, INCLUDING 3 IN EAST TEXAS, FOR ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL ELECTION LAWS

A disability rights group has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that more than 80 Texas Counties, including several in East Texas, are violating federal election laws by not offering equal access to the ballot to people with disabilities. Disability Rights Texas filed a systemic class complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice on September 4. The suit claims that the voting websites on the counties named are failing to comply with federal laws because they do not offer equal access to people with disabilities…

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WEB SCAN RESULTS – STATE ELECTION SITES

Texas Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.votetexas.gov/ WAVE reporting 0 accessibility errors and 18 contrast errors, Tagged PDF files with many accessibility issues

 

Legislatures Look At Accessibility

ACCESSIBILITY TO VOTING FOR IDAHOANS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULD BE INCREASED

On Aug. 24, legislators from across the state gathered in Boise for a special legislative session to discuss the November election. On the agenda are proposed amendments to Idaho’s election laws, which include allowing counties to create voting centers to facilitate in-person voting on Election Day. While Disability Rights Idaho appreciates the state’s forethought in planning for the November election, we want to ensure the Legislature considers an absolutely vital component to this process: accessibility…

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WEB SCAN RESULTS – STATE ELECTION SITES

Ohio Elections HTML https://wave.webaim.org/report#/https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/ WAVE reporting 0 accessibility errors and 1 contrast errors, Untagged inaccessible PDF documents

 

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Non-Profit Accessibility

ABILITIES IN MOTION JOINS PA VOTES NONPROFIT COLLABORATIVE

Through a collaborative grassroots effort, Abilities in Motion has partnered with PA VOTES to encourage and advocate for local voter participation ahead of the November 2020 general election. The PA VOTES program is a nonpartisan initiative of Nonprofit VOTE and the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania to support and evaluate the role of nonprofit service providers doing voter engagement. Its goal in recruiting nonprofit organizations is to increase the capacity of service providers to do voter engagement work and improve models for nonprofits to register and engage voters in the course of ongoing activities…

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Accessible Technology

WEBINAR DESIGNED TO HELP VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES KNOW THEIR RIGHTS, MAKE A PLAN

Susan Koller intends to heed the advice of voter advocates and make a plan for how she’ll cast her ballot this year because the potential for snags is always significant for people like her with disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic could make voting even more challenging, she said. “I’m not 100% sure how it will work for me,” said Koller, 38, who has cerebral palsy and lives in a long-term care facility in the Cincinnati area. “What usually happens is I vote absentee.” Koller needs assistance and relies on family to make sure her ballot is properly completed…

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