DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio is just five days away from Election Day and one organization is working to make sure voting is accessible to all.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, accessible voting equipment is available to every voter. That includes audio ballots, braille ballots, larger text, screen contrast and other navigation features.
But even with accommodations, around one in seven voters with disabilities encountered difficulties voting in 2022, according to a report from Rutgers University.
Disability Rights Ohio is advocating for equitable access to voting for all Ohioans.
Kerstin Sjoberg, executive director of Disability Rights Ohio, said, “While there are some good things in place between the Americans with Disabilities Act, right, and some of the processes that have been set up in Ohio, we still have a lot of ground to go, right? We still have issues to work on in order to have a truly accessible election process.”
One issue Disability Rights Ohio addresses is curbside voting. Each county is required to offer curbside voting, but Sjoberg says there is sometimes some confusion on how to access it.
In Montgomery County for early voting, the Board of Elections provides designated parking spaces for curbside voting with a phone number to call. If you plan to curbside vote on Election Day, you will need to bring someone with you to request a ballot.
“That’s part of our role here, to provide equal access to all voters in Montgomery County. Make sure it’s easy for them to come out and vote, whether you vote early, vote by mail prior to Election Day, or vote at your polling location on Election Day,” said Bill Hibner, chief of staff at the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
If you have trouble accessing curbside voting or any other issue on Election Day, you can reach out to Disability Rights Ohio at 1-800-282-9181.
Disability Rights Ohio also provided the following tips for Election Day:
- Make sure you have an up-to-date photo ID.
- Make sure you know where your polling location is.
- Arrange transportation early.
- Have a backup plan to vote in the case of an emergency.
For more information about Election Day and to view your sample ballot, click here.