New York elections are rolling out a new vote-by-mail system meant to aid people with disabilities by allowing them to increase a ballot's font size, adjust the color contrast or use a screen reader technology when casting their vote.
The state Board of Elections on Tuesday announced the new system created by Enhanced Voting, a company that has provided ballot technology meant to increase accessibility in states like Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
Accessible ballots can be applied for through the Board of Elections website. After an application is completed, instructions are sent in an email for how to retrieve their ballot. Once it is completed, the ballot can be printed and returned.
“The Board’s new Accessible Ballot Delivery System was designed with ample input from the Disability Community and Enhanced Voting," said Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky, a co-executive director of the New York State Board of Elections. The final product is an easy-to-use, simple platform with stringent security standards to ensure all voters will have equitable access to a private vote.”
Voters who use the accessible ballot will be given a return envelope that includes a tactile mark indicating where they must sign to verify it. Voters who want an accessible ballot will also continue to have the option to print their own oath envelope using a template and instructions provided by the Board of Elections.
“In addition to being fully accessible to voters with visual disabilities, the system is also compatible with all major browsers and device sizes including smartphones and tablets," said Todd Valentine, Co-Executive Director of the New York State Board of Elections. "The Accessible Ballot Delivery System will allow voters with print disabilities to complete their absentee ballot independently.”