PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 13, 2021 


President Biden taps Tracy Stone-Manning to be director of Bureau of Land Management; and Colorado schools get new tools to help students distinguish between news, commentary and disinformation.


2021Talks - May 13, 2021 


Republicans oust Liz Cheney from her leadership role, Dr. Anthony Fauci urges more vaccinations, NAACP leaders voice support for voting rights legislation, and Nancy Pelosi is optimistic about the infrastructure bill.

NC’s Absentee Ballot 'Inaccessible' to Some Voters with Disabilities

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

According to a nationwide Rutgers University study, around 14 million people with disabilities reported voting in 2018. (Adobe Stock)
According to a nationwide Rutgers University study, around 14 million people with disabilities reported voting in 2018. (Adobe Stock)
 By Nadia Ramlagan - Producer, Contact
September 11, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Some people living with disabilities can't fill out an absentee ballot without assistance, and disability-rights experts say that's a serious issue for folks in North Carolina who are worried about the health risks of heading to the polls in a pandemic.

Virginia Knowlton Marcus, chief executive of Disability Rights North Carolina, said the state Board of Elections has not provided alternatives to accommodate individuals with disabilities who are unable to independently and privately read and mark a paper ballot from their home.

"The absentee ballots in North Carolina are inaccessible to many people with disabilities," she said. "People who are blind, have visual impairments or manual-dexterity disabilities, meaning that they can't write."

This summer, advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, asking the state to make changes to its absentee-voting program to improve accessibility for voters with disabilities by the November election. The suit is pending.

Marcus said state officials could offer special absentee-voting options, including electronic voting.

"Folks who vote overseas, for example in the armed forces, can vote using an electronic technology that could simply be made available to voters with disabilities," she said. "It's safe and it works, and it's been implemented in many other states."

Even when people with disabilities show up at the polls, Marcus said, they often report instances of discrimination and a lack of voting machines equipped with modifications for visual or auditory impairments.

"It might include poll workers not knowing how to assist people with disabilities," she said, "or believing that if they do need assistance, that they are ineligible to vote."

Marcus said North Carolina residents with disabilities who plan to vote in person can receive a free PPE kit online, at SafeVoterNC.org.

According to researchers at Rutgers University, if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as those without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be more than 2 million more voters.

The lawsuit is online at dralegal.org, and the Rutgers study is at rutgers.edu.

---

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Best Practices