Saturday, November 01, 2008

You have the right to vote in privacy

For many who are legally blind or have low vision, in the past it has sometimes been difficult to vote with privacy. Things weren't always easy to read and a poll worker sometimes had to help - denying the person with a visual disabity the right to vote in private like everyone else.

Here's another press release I ran across and thought some blog readers might find it useful. This is about a nationwide toll-free number you can call if you have trouble at the polls.

National Federation of the Blind Launches “Project VIP” to Help Blind Voters on Election Day
10/21/2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:Chris Danielsen

Public Relations Specialist(
410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen@nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Launches “Project VIP” to Help Blind Voters on Election Day
Voting Specialists Will Provide Advice and Assistance to Blind Voters
Baltimore, Maryland (October 21, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for the voting rights of blind people, announced today that it is launching Project VIP (Voting with Independence and Privacy), a toll-free hotline that will be available to blind voters across the United States on Election Day. The purpose of the hotline is to help blind voters who are experiencing problems voting independently and privately as required by the Help America Vote Act. The National Federation of the Blind will have voting specialists on call to provide support to blind voters who call from their polling locations and to assist in troubleshooting problems with nonvisual voting technology. If a blind voter is unable to vote independently and privately, the voting specialists will record details such as the city, state, and polling location. The information from situations that cannot be resolved during a phone call to the Project VIP hotline will be referred to the proper authorities for follow-up action.


Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “There is no right that is more fundamental in a democratic nation than the right to vote, and the 2008 presidential election is the first election in which blind Americans are guaranteed the right to cast their vote for president independently and privately. The National Federation of the Blind is setting up Project VIP to ensure that every blind voter can exercise this historic and invaluable right, for which blind Americans have fought and will continue to protect.”On November 4, blind voters who experience problems voting independently and privately are urged to call 877-NFB-1940 (877-632-1940) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST). The voting specialists answering this number will assist the blind voter and/or the poll worker in resolving the issue. Voters are urged to call directly from their polling location to resolve voting issues rather than simply reporting problems after they occur.

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About the National Federation of the Blind

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind. Please visit our Web site:
www.nfb.org.

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