RESOLUTION 2018 - 01

Resolution Regarding Accessible Electronic Ballot Delivery

WHEREAS, the right to independently cast a secret and anonymous ballot is a cornerstone of our democracy; and

WHEREAS, the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) has enabled blind voters and many others with disabilities to exercise their right to vote privately and independently at polling places by providing at least one (1) accessible voting machine in each polling place; and

WHEREAS, any registered voter wishing to use a vote by mail ballot has the right to do so; and

WHEREAS, according to the Department of State, Division of Elections, all Florida counties use a paper ballot for vote by mail, thus excluding individuals who are blind or otherwise print-disabled from independently casting a private, secret vote by mail ballot; and

WHEREAS, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits a state government from excluding an individual with a disability from participation in or being denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity; and

WHEREAS, twenty states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) have implemented electronic ballot delivery systems that enable voters to access and mark their ballot and then email or print and mail the ballot to their local board of elections, demonstrating that these systems can be made secure; and

WHEREAS, electronic ballot delivery systems can be made accessible to screen reading, magnification, and other software used by the blind and otherwise print disabled, making electronic ballot delivery systems accessible and, as such, compliant with the ADA:

Now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Florida in Convention assembled this twenty-eighth day of May 2018, in the City of Tampa, Florida, that this organization strongly urge the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections to require that all Supervisors of Elections offices make online electronic ballot delivery systems available and accessible to voters with disabilities