Voters with disabilities score big win in settlement with BOE over vote-by-mail accessibility

By Robbie Sequeira: For Complete Post, Click Here…

On Tuesday, the state Board of Elections settled a 2020 Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit with a host of disability organizations and will now create a statewide program allowing blind and disabled voters to fill out a remote, accessible vote-by-mail ballot online.

Disability rights groups — including The National Federation of the Blind of New York State, American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc., Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York and Disability Rights New York — took legal action the state’s BOE in May in a bid to make absentee voting accessible for voters with disabilities by the state’s June 28 primary.

The legal matter which was under the jurisdiction of the Southern District of New York alleged the BOE violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing an accessible absentee voting system.

Under the settlement, the state BOE is required to choose a remote accessible vote-by-mail system that allows blind people and people with print disabilities to use their own computers to read and mark a ballot using their own screen-reader software that converts the ballot content into spoken words or into Braille displayed on a connected device.

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