Experts say disabled voters should plan ahead before casting their ballot in person

Posted at 4:46 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 18:46:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Voting experts are urging disabled voters to make a plan for election day, and to read up on your rights before you head to the polls.

This year's election is unlike any other due to COVID-19. According to the CDC, the disabled are more susceptible to serious implications from the Coronavirus.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office, sampled 178 polling places during the last Presidential election. The office found that 60 percent of those polling places had hindrances such as steep ramps, a lack of signage and poor parking or paths. Federal law requires that polling places be accessible to all voters.

“Election officials need to comply with not only the help America vote act but also the Americans with disabilities act," said Ben Hovland, Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an agency that focuses on how elections are run across the country.

Experts say people who are disabled and plan on voting in person, should have a plan in case they need help casting their ballot.

"A polling station might focus on wheelchair accessibility but forget the fact that there are people who can't see or can't hear," said paralyzed veteran Al Kovach in an interview with our news partners. "I want to make sure that people with disabilities know you can bring a friend with them to help them cast their vote that is their right."

If you need help making a plan to vote, there's an election checklist you can take a look at. Click here for more information.