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Voting by Persons with Disabilities

With the 2012 Presidential election less than a month away, Milford Town Clerk Amy Hennessy Neves wants to remind Milford voters who are elderly or disabled that they have options when they want to cast their ballot.

First of all, each of the polling locations in Milford is accessible for the elderly and persons with disabilities. According to Massachusetts Secretary of State, William Galvin, "Accessible voting provides the same opportunity for access and participation to persons with disabilities as for other voters."

In addition, according to Neves, a voter can choose someone to assist with entering the polling location, checking in at the precinct, entering the voting booth, marking the ballot, exiting the booth, and checking out. Voting by absentee ballot at home is another option for Milford voters who are elderly or disabled.

Both Federal and State laws also require that voting systems be equipped for voters with disabilities. In Milford, each polling location has an accessible voting machine. This marking machine allows voters who are disabled to have the same opportunity to vote privately and independently as any other voter. Neves added that Milford poll workers are trained to assist voters with the use of these accessible machines if necessary.

Milford uses the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminals for disabled voters. The AutoMARK is a marking device that provides audio cues for blind or visually impaired voters. It also has a feature that will greatly magnify the ballot or display the ballot in high contrast for voters who may have limited vision. The AutoMARK can also produce an oral report played to the voter over headphones to review the choices selected prior to the voter printing the ballot. The machine also ensures that no ballots are accidently under-voted, over-voted, or left blank.




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