WENY News - Demonstrations held to help disabled residents independently vot

Demonstrations held to help disabled residents independently vote

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- On Tuesday, the Chemung County Board of Elections and AIM Independent Living Center, taught disabled voters how they can make their voices heard on election night. 

"People want to vote independently," said AIM Director of Government and Public Affairs, John Zick. "They don't want to have to rely on somebody else to cast a ballot. They don't want other people to know who they voted for. There is assistive technology out there that helps with that. We're demonstrating that today, and I think more people will head to the polls this November because of the demonstration."

There, you could try out different ballot-marking-devices, which allows people with a variety of disabilities to vote. 

"There are pedals for people who don't have great dexterity, but can use their feet," said Zick. "There are headphones for people who can't see, braille for people who have vision disabilities or who are blind. There's a sip and puff, for someone who doesn't have great use of their hands or feet. They can actually use their mouth to cast their ballot."

For disabled people in the county, they believe having the technology that allows them to vote gives them back their independence. 

"I feel more empowered to control my own destiny, and it's a really good feeling," said Elmira resident, April Struhm. 

The ballot marking devices will be at ever y polling place in the county on election night. If you, or a loved one, were unable to make it to today's demonstration, you can swing by the Chemung County Board of Elections where they can help teach you how to use the devices. The deadline for voter registration in New York is Friday, October 12th. 

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