NH voters with disabilities encouraged to make a voting plan
Monday, November 6, 2023
Advocates for people with disabilities in New Hampshire are encouraging them to make a voting plan ahead of tomorrow's election, by locating the correct polling station, reading up on voting rights and learning how to use accessible voting equipment.
Krysten Evans, director of policy and advocacy for the group ABLE NH, said finding reliable transportation to the polls is one of the greatest concerns she hears from eligible voters with disabilities, especially those living in more rural areas.
"People are saying they can't get to the polls," Evans observed. "They don't have access to voting machines because they have physical disabilities."
Evans pointed out ABLE NH has formed a task force to find solutions to the transportation challenge and encouraged people to vote tomorrow with family, friends or co-workers, who can also offer a ride.
New Hampshire is one of eleven states lacking online voter registration. Legislation to create a statewide "online election portal" to register, request absentee ballots and update voter contact information stalled in committee last session.
Evans noted not everyone can get to a clerk's office to register during the day because of work or physical limitations.
"Online voter registration enhances accessibility, convenience and support for people with disabilities," Evans explained. " Enabling them to exercise their right to vote more efficiently and independently."
People with disabilities nationwide were 6% less likely to vote in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, according to federal data.
Evans stressed if people can make it to their polling station, election workers are there to explain the process and provide help using the accessible voting equipment.
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