Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November, 1 2018
Secretary Pate, Disability Rights Iowa partner to promote and encourage curbside voting to Iowans with disabilities
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Disabilities Rights Iowa are joining forces to help Iowans with disabilities vote in Tuesday's election. Together, they purchased curbside voting signs for every polling place in the state. Curbside voting is an option available to Iowans with disabilities who have trouble exiting their vehicle or entering a polling place.
Voters may alert the precinct election officials they want to vote curbside or call their county auditor using the phone number on the sign. A bipartisan team of poll workers will bring the ballot to the voter at their vehicle.
"My office has made a concerted effort to reach out to Iowans with disabilities to let them know about resources available to help them be a voter," Secretary Pate said. "Curbside voting is available to all Iowans with disabilities, whether they have a physical ailment or they're dealing with anxiety issues such as PTSD. We've learned through our outreach that many of our veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder find entering a polling place difficult. This is a great option for voters with disabilities."
The signs will be included in supplies that auditors give to each precinct location. They will be placed near the curb, next to the pathway to the entrance of the polling place. The signs will be used statewide for the first time on November 6.
"Iowa has permitted voters with disabilities to vote curbside for a long time, but not many voters knew about this option. Now with curbside voting signs at every precinct in every election, voters with disabilities have more options to exercise their right to vote. We hope they take advantage of this opportunity to vote privately and independently at their polling sites," said Mark Leamen, Disability Rights Iowa voting advocate.
The curbside voting signs were purchased utilizing funds granted to the Iowa Secretary of State's Office and Disability Rights Iowa by Congress through the Help America Vote Act.
A photo of Secretary of State Paul Pate and Mark Leamen from Disability Rights Iowa with a curbside voting sign is available for your use at this link.
Disability Rights Iowa has produced a short video that explains the curbside voting process. It is available at this link. Disability Rights Iowa also has a public service announcement that explains more accessibility rights for Iowans with disabilities on Election Day at this link.
The Iowa Secretary of State's Office has developed a toolkit that contains resources to help organizations increase awareness on topics such as a voter's right to have assistance at the polls, early voting and accessible equipment. You can access the Disabilities Toolkit on the Iowa Secretary of State's website at this link.