For Lee Ann Kinkade, of Staunton, going to vote on Election Day is magical, she says. She’s filled with “bipartisan patriotism” on these days, excited to participate in the nation’s democratic process. But as Kinkade, who’s disabled, headed into Gypsy Hill Park Gym on Tuesday to vote in the governor primaries, she instead said she felt “dehumanized” by the treatment she received from one of the poll workers. With her disability, her hands shake and she isn’t able to fill in the bubbles on the paper ballots, she said. There’s assistive equipment for this though that makes it possible for disabled voters to make their election selections while keeping their ballots confidential.
Each ward in Staunton is equipped with one of the handheld voting devices, called audio-tactile interfaces, which are compliant with the American Disabilities Act, said Elizabeth Young, vice chairwoman of the Staunton Electoral Board.
Kinkade said that when she requested to use one of these machines though to vote Tuesday, she was met with resistance from a poll worker who allegedly suggested she just have her husband fill out her ballot for her to make things easier. She wasn’t willing to waive her right to a secret ballot though, which she’s supposed to be assured of under the Help America Vote Act.
Full Article: Disabled voter describes ‘dehumanizing’ treatment at polls.