YOU CAN VOTE! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! It is Your Right!

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> YOU CAN VOTE! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! It is Your Right! </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Help America Vote Act History In October 2002, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). This law resulted from concerns raised regarding the 2000 Presidential election. HAVA made sweeping reforms in the way elections are conducted in the nation mandates improvements to voting systems and voter access. includes requirements for a centralized voter registration database requires privacy and independence in the voting process mandates access for and voter outreach to people with disabilities </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Some Interesting Statistics According to the National Organization on Disability/Harris Surveys of Americans with Disabilities, the Political Participation Gap is the difference in levels of political participation between people with and without disabilities. In the 2000 Presidential election: 41% of voting-age Americans with disabilities voted, compared to 51% of all voting-age Americans, a 10% gap More than 21 million voting aged people with disabilities did not cast a ballot Historically, only about a third of people with disabilities vote in American Presidential contests. </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Some Interesting Statistics, cont. Voter registration is lower for people with disabilities than for people without disabilities (62% versus 78% respectively) In the 2000 Election, the disability community cast 14 MILLION votes Mr. Bush received almost five million votes and Mr. Gore got nearly nine million from the disability community 14 million: THATS A POWERFUL VOTING BLOCK! And that is with only 41% of people with disabilities voting </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> "Get into politics as if your life depended on it. It does!" -The Late Justin Dart, Jr., often referred to as the Father of the ADA </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> Why the 10% Voting GAP ? The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the Voting Rights Act as extended in 1982, were constructed to reaffirm these rights for all of our citizens, including those with disabilities. While voter activity within the disability community has steadily improved, people with disabilities continued to experience a lack of access to voter registration services, accessible transportation, polling places, voting machines and ballots. </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Help America Vote Act (HAVA) HAVA impacts every part of the voting process, from voting machine accessibility to provisional ballots, from voter registration to poll worker training </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Accessible Voting Systems Accessible voting systems make use of Direct Recording Electronic devices ( "DRE's"): paperless, computerized voting units that allow you to vote directly on the system Some Texas counties were using optical scan voting machines had the option to supplement their voter terminal with accessibility features that allow voters with disabilities to use headphones or other assistive devices to vote both independently and secretly Systems must accommodate: no/low vision, no/low hearing, limited manual dexterity or reach, limited strength, no/low mobility, or any combination of the foregoing (except the combination of no hearing and no vision) </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Under HAVA: the voting system must be accessible to individuals with disabilities in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation as for other voters. HAVA provides that this requirement may be met by placing a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting system or other accessible voting unit in each polling place. All polling places were required to be equipped with at least one DRE by Jan. 1, 2006. To date, McLennan County has DREs in all polling locations. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> Accessible Voting in Texas An audio component is available to voters who are blind or have a severe visual impairment The voter hears the entire ballot using headphones with volume control Information can be repeated and a voter may take as long as needed to vote If you need large print to read the ballot independently, select the large print option at the beginning of the voting process Two large tactile switches are available for any voter who has limited upper body mobility or dexterity. They are activated using an adaptive device or just about any part of the body, including the feet </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Important Polling Place Accessibility Information The voting area must be: (1) on the ground floor, which can be entered from the street; or (2) accessible by an elevator with doors providing an opening of at least 36 inches Doors, entrances, and exits used to enter or to leave the polling place must have a minimum width of 32 inches Any curb next to the main entrance to the polling place must have curb-cuts or temporary non-slip ramps Any stairs necessary to enter or leave the polling place must have handrails on each side of the stairs and a non-slip ramp The polling place may not have any barriers such as gravel, automatically closing gates, closed doors without lever-type handles, or any other barrier that impedes the path of persons with physical disabilities as they travel to the voting station </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Curbside Voting Available Curbside voting is available at polling places to any person who has difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. Poll workers will bring a ballot to your car. Call ahead to notify the polling place of your arrival Complete your ballot in the car Available during early voting and on Election Day </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> Voting Machine Accessibility Features If you need large print to read the ballot independently, select the large print option at the beginning of the voting process Two large tactile switches are available for any voter who has limited upper body mobility or dexterity. They are activated using an adaptive device or just about any part of the body, including the feet Voters who are quadriplegic can vote privately using a sip n puff device to move through the ballot and mark choices. Poll workers will be trained to help disconnect the device from the wheelchair &amp; connect it to accessible voting machines so voting using ones breath can begin Poll workers can disconnect the voting machine and bring it to a car so that one may vote without coming inside the polling place. The battery- powered portable machine is easy for any poll worker to carry curbside </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Administrative complaint procedures for violations of Title III of HAVA A person who believes that a violation of Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 has occurred may file a complaint with the Secretary of State. Violations of Title III include but are not limited to: failure to comply with federal voting system standards, as set out in Section 301(a) of HAVA, including standards for accessibility for individuals with disabilities and alternate language accessibility; failure to comply with provisional voting procedures in an election as required by Section 302(a) of HAVA; failure to create statewide voter registration system in the manner set out in HAVA; and failure to post required voter information at the polling place as required by Section 302(b) </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> All Title III HAVA complaints must: be in writing, signed and notarized by the complainant include the full name, telephone number, and complainant mailing address include a description of the alleged violation of Title III include a statement requesting a hearing on the record if desired The Secretary of State shall: Review the complaint within 60 days to determine if it meets the requirements as to form &amp; content &amp; identifies a violation of Title III of HAVA If the complaint meets the requirements, notice that the complaint has been accepted shall be mailed to all parties. If not, it will be returned to the complainant with an explanation The complainant may make a written request for a hearing on the record, which will be held at the Secretary of States offices in Austin However, under current state law, voting systems acquired after September 1, 1999 must be accessible to voters with physical disabilities. Texas was ahead of many states in instituting this requirement. </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> What YOU can do: REGISTER to vote! Vote by MAIL! Organize carpools or take the bus to the polls! You can register others to vote by becoming a VOLUNTEER DEPUTY REGISTRAR: contact your voter registrar for an application after the application is reviewed and approved, you receive a certificate of appointment for ID purposes, voter registration applications, a receipt book, and other information Its an easy way to get involved and make a difference in your community! </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Voter Registration Obtain a voter registration form from youre a Deputy Voter Registrar, your Countys voter registrar, either the County Tax Assessors-Collector or County Clerk Eligible voters are: 1.United States citizens 2.18 years of age 3.not currently serving parole or probation for a felony conviction </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Voters with limited Guardians Individuals with limited guardians can vote unless a judge has issued a specific order to restrict them Disability Rights Texas will assist anyone wanting to review their guardianship papers prior to the election Under some circumstances Disability Rights Texas will petition the court for a restoration on your behalf </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Where Do I Vote? Most Texas newspapers publish the location of polling places prior to every election. You can contact McLennan County Elections Office to find out the location of your polling place. If you have your voter registration certificate, it will list your precinct number. When you call, tell the person that answers the phone your precinct number to find out where your polling place is located. </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Where Do I Vote? On election day you must vote in the precinct where you are registered. During early voting you can vote at any early voting site within the county. </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Early Voting Vote early in person (you dont need to vote in your precinct, you can cast your ballot at any of the established early voting sites convenient to YOU) Texas law requires all early and Election Day polling locations to be physically accessible to voters with disabilities. Last day to register to vote: (usually 30 days prior to next election) Monday, October 7, 2013 </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Early Voting Vote early by mail Request an application for a ballot to be mailed to you by the Secretary of States Office or download an application form from their website.download an application form </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Early Voting: Ballots by Mail, cont. If you are voting early by mail you must send your application by: regular mail; common or contract carrier; or FAX (if a FAX machine is available to the early voting clerk and if you are submitting your application from outside the county and will be outside of the county on election day) For the Nov. 5, 2013 General Election: 1st day to apply for ballot by mail: Oct. 25, 2013 Last day to Receive ballot by mail: Nov. 5, 2013 (received, not postmarked) </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> New ID Requirements in Texas You will have to present some form of identification in order to vote beginning in the November 5, 2013 General Election. Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID: Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS Texas personal identification card issued by DPS Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS United States military identification card containing the persons photograph United States citizenship certificate containing the persons photograph United States passport With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place. </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> Accessible Voter Info If you need assistance in registering to vote, have questions regarding voting, or feel that any of your voting rights have been violated please contact Disability Rights Texas. 1.888.796.VOTE (8683) 7800 Shoal Creek Blvd., Ste. 171-E Austin, Texas 78757 or info@disabilityrightstx.org. </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> If you have any further questions regarding voting, polling place accessibility, poll worker training, HAVA requirements, or other elections related questions, please contact: Office of the Secretary of State Elections Division P.O. Box 12060 Austin, Texas 78711-2060 512.463.5650 or 1.800.252.VOTE (8683) Fax 512.475.2811 TTY 7.1.1 www.sos.state.tx.us </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Waco Mayors Committee for People with Disabilities 254-214-7253 wacomayorscommittee@hotmail.com www.facebook.com/groups/Wacomayorscom mittee/ </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> ADDITIONAL LINKS provided by Kelly at the meeting: T HE G OVERNOR S C OMMITTEE ON P EOPLE WITH D ISABILITIES : http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/ &amp; HTTP :// GOVERNOR. STATE. TX. US / DISABILITIES / RESOURCES / Disability Rights Texas: http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/http://www.disabilityrightstx.org/ Who Represents Me http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspxhttp://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx DADS Ombudsman: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/ombudsman/how_it_works.html Texas Benefits Search: https://www.yourtexasbenefits.com/ssp/SSPHome/ssphome.jsp 211 Benefits Search: https://www.211texas.org/211/stateBenefits.do?selectedMenuId=stateBenefitsMenuId </li> </ul>