|Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 26, 2016
Pate launches new initiative to help military veterans and Iowans with disabilities vote
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces a new statewide initiative to help all eligible Iowans participate in the November general election. The effort focuses particularly on military veterans and Iowans with disabilities.
Pate's office has produced videos, brochures, and a new webpage that detail the resources available to Iowans with disabilities to help them register to vote and to cast their ballot for the November general election. He announced the new initiative at a morning news conference in Des Moines.
"This initiative is very important to me," Secretary Pate said. "My goal is for every eligible Iowan to register to vote and to participate. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who defended our right to vote, so reaching out to the veterans' community is very important. We also want to help all Iowans who have a disability, to educate them on the resources available to them to make it easier to cast their ballot."
The Secretary of State's website, sos.iowa.gov/disabilities, provides a one-stop shop to help Iowans with disabilities vote. There, you can register to vote online, download an absentee ballot request form, and learn about curbside voting and other assistance you can receive at your polling site. That webpage also includes several videos that detail how to register to vote, what to expect at your polling site, and how to use voting machines specially designed for people with disabilities.
Secretary Pate also hired a voter outreach coordinator to travel the state, visiting with veterans groups and organizations that work with Iowans with disabilities, to help promote the resources available to them.
"I would like to acknowledge the Secretary of State's Office support and willingness to partner with our Council to improve voting access to Iowans with disabilities," said Steve Crew, chair of the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council. "In addition, I also want to thank them for their commitment to ensure that the spirit of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is alive and well in the State of Iowa."
Lisa Naslund is the co-founder and director for Operation Engage America, a group that helps veterans deal with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Her son suffered from PTSD and committed suicide in 2011.
"A few weeks ago when I learned from Secretary Pate that someone with these type of disabilities and other mental health issues could feel comfortable to vote from their vehicle and never have to get out of their comfort zone, I was thrilled to be able to share this knowledge with other military members living with these issues," Naslund said.
If anyone needs more information about registering to vote or resources available to Iowans with disabilities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-SOS-VOTE.
Direct link to video message to Iowans with disabilities shown during today's news conference: https://youtu.be/Lt1KNUUZ6ig
Photos: Sec Pate with Tai Tomasi
Secretary Pate with other speakers at disabilities news conference (from left to right: Steve Crew, Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council; Tai Tomasi, Disability Rights Iowa; Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State; Lisa Naslund, Operation Engage America; Mindy Schaefer, President of Iowa State Association of County Auditors)