Disability Rights Florida Launches “Access The Vote” Campaign
Americas, July 27 2016
TALLAHASSEE: Disability Rights Florida has launched its “Access The Vote” campaign to encourage Floridians with disabilities to vote in upcoming elections. The campaign includes a new accessible website (http://www.AccessTheVote.org) detailing the voting rights and responsibilities for all Floridians.
The website is divided into two sections: “Not Yet Registered to Vote” and “Registered Voters,” providing customized information for each audience. For Floridians not yet registered, there is information regarding how to register, how to check your voter status, rights restoration and voting options. For people who are already registered, the site offers details about what to know before you vote, how to vote by mail, how to vote in person, what to bring, voting rights, voting equipment and polling place accessibility. The site also includes captioned videos, voting FAQs, important dates and the Disability Rights Florida Voter Hotline phone number.
Presenters at the news conference included Disability Rights Florida Public Policy Director Tony DePalma, Florida Secretary of State’s Division of Elections Director Maria Matthews, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, and Dianna Shepeard, a volunteer poll worker and veteran with a service-connected disability.
“The overall goal of the campaign is to engage more Floridians with disabilities in the voting process by developing useful resources to educate the public,” DePalma said. “These tools emphasize how important it is for people with disabilities to participate in voting, accessibility and independence, and their rights as Americans to vote in upcoming elections. People with disabilities often experience barriers when voting. This website can provide them with information needed to overcome many of those barriers.”
“At the state level, we work with all 67 county Supervisors of Elections to ensure accessible voting for persons with disabilities,” Matthews said. “It is very encouraging to see Disability Rights Florida’s new website ‘AccessTheVote.org,’ which stresses the importance of encouraging voters with disabilities to participate in elections.”
Another part of the “Access The Vote” campaign includes a podcast series that is currently in production and will be available for download. The podcast will serve as an educational tool to reach new audiences in an entertaining way, discussing a range of important topics affecting people with disabilities.
“The new website Disability Rights Florida is launching today, ‘AccessTheVote.org,’ is an excellent way to involve Floridians in political events,” said Sancho. “I encourage everyone, friends, neighbors, and families to visit the new website.”
“We must be committed to making the political participation process as inclusive as possible for people with disabilities,” Shepeard said. “Initiatives like these help increase participation in the voting process. I’m excited to help launch this new tool.”