For many years, the Western New York Independent Living Family of Agencies (WNYIL) has worked to ensure that people with disabilities have a barrier-free path to voting, whether it be absentee or in-person. We were one of the most vocal supporters of the Help America Vote Act, which led to all voting districts in the Empire State being equipped with a disability-accessible Ballot marking device, such as the ES&S AutoMark in Erie County and the Dominion Voting Systems ImageCast in Niagara and most other counties.
With the conclusion of the Coronavirus Pandemic State of Emergency, relaxation of procedures about mailing in or delivering ballots have been ended, and we are curious about how the experiences of voters with disabilities may have become more challenging or perhaps easier in the recently concluded voting day, Systems Advocate Ericka Miller invites any voters with disabilities from Erie or Niagara Counties to share their challenges and/or positive experiences at their polling place. Were there curb cuts and accessible paths of travel to the polls? Were the machines easy or difficult to use? Were the volunteers knowledgeable and helpful?
Ericka invites those who wish to pass along their voting stories to her by email at [email protected] or by phone at 716-284-4131, extension 221
The Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.