Groups Claim State, Counties Violate Voting Act
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 3, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--The Paralyzed Veterans of America, California Council of the Blind, and American Association of People with Disabilities have sued California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and five California counties, claiming they are violating a federal voting rights law.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the groups filed the suit Tuesday alleging that Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Yolo counties have all failed to provide voting machines that allow voters with mobility- and vision-related disabilities to independently cast a secret ballot.
Current state law, the groups said, requires counties with touch-screen voting machines to produce a paper receipt for verification that cannot be read by blind voters. This requirement violates the 2002 Help America Vote Act, they claim in the suit.
Some of the counties have failed to make their voting systems fully accessible, in violation of HAVA, which required all polling places across the country to have at least one accessible voting system by the first of this year.
A spokesperson for the secretary of state declined to comment on the suit, but told the Chronicle that every voting system approved in California meets HAVA's accessibility guidelines.