For many, exercising their right to vote is more complicated than just filling in a box. Across the state there are voting machines for people with a variety of disabilities. But KTVB spoke with one voter who’s blind and says those expensive terminals weren’t any help. Boise resident Bill Morgan votes in every election he can. However, he says oftentimes it can be a struggle getting to the polls. In addition, if the machines to help people with disabilities are hard to navigate, some people may find voting discouraging. “I think it’s the most important thing I can do as a citizen,” Morgan said. “People died so that I could vote.” Being blind, he’s been using accessible voting machines in general elections for the past several years. “I will vote any way I can,” Morgan told KTVB. “But if I can make my own ‘X’ that just makes me feel proud. I like that.”
Ada County got new machines this year that they’re able to use in all elections. But Morgan had major issues when he went out to the polls on Tuesday to cast his ballot on one of those devices.
“We didn’t know how to get it started and neither did the person that was assigned to be the person that knew how to run it,” he explained. “What everybody else can do, then we can’t do it because they can’t get their equipment correct.”
After about 15 minutes, he says his wife had to do it for him.
The $3,500 machines are the only way for voters with disabilities to vote independently- without anyone having to read their ballot.