Push to make voting more accessible in Vermont

Published: Oct. 30, 2018 at 8:30 AM EDT
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Vermonters of all abilities will soon have expanded access to voting.

Disability Rights Vermont says a recent survey found polling locations are mostly accessible to those with disabilities. But most need small improvements, such as sidewalk repairs or handicapped parking.

Vermont is rolling out a new, tablet-based voting system next week. Once someone makes their selections, a ballot is printed with their votes. It's then fed through a tabulator or into a ballot box like other ballots.

"It means they have to set up a whole new, distinct voting system from the tabulators and the ballot boxes that they usually set up and for the most part, to a person, they've been willing and excited to do so," said Will Sennig, the director of elections in Vermont.

"Generally, the costs of fixing these things are minimal. Rarely do elevators have to be put in place, so most towns can fix these things temporarily," said A.J. Rubin of Disability Rights Vermont.

Three-hundred-and-ten new accessibility devices will be spread among the state's 275 polling locations on Election Day.