Advocates for disabled residents gathered for a post election meeting with Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz Wednesday afternoon.
Since 2006, the Secretary of the State's office has provided a vote by telephone system at polling sites for physically disabled and visually impaired residents. Susan Bysiewicz says the federal Help America Vote Act requires states and local governments to have at least one type of voting system at polling places that allow the disabled to vote independently and privately. Several individuals at the meeting noted the need to fix some flaws during November's election, particularly instances of poll workers not giving disabled voters the option of using either the vote by phone or optical scan machines. However, Marty Knight of Middletown says the system does give him peace of mind when casting his vote.
"I found the vote by phone very, very good system. It was very helpful for me. It's the second year that I've been able to vote independently. I've been voting in every election since I was able to be an elector," Knight says.
Secretary Bysiewicz says her office plans on asking the state legislature to mandate privacy zones of at least 5 feet around vote by telephone and optical scan machines at polling sites.