Thank you. And welcome everyone to our October 2004 session, which starts our new series of audio conferences for the next 12 months. And I welcome everyone who''s coming back from previous sessions and those that are new. Our session today is kind of kicking off the series, we are excited to be addressing issues of voting given that we are only about a month away from the Presidential Election this year. These programs for you that are new and have not been involved in the past, if you are not familiar with us, we are part of a 10 group-10 organizational group called the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, there is one in each region across the country that provides information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as access to information technology in educational settings such as K through 12 and post secondary education groups. We have been offering these teleconferences now for the last six years, on a variety of topics related to the American''s with Disabilities Act and occasionally address issues on information technology as well. If you have not contacted your Disability Business Technical Assistance Center in the past, you can contact them. Our 800 number is 800-949-4232. In order to make sure that the session is accessible to everyone today, we are also running simultaneously, real-time captioning via the internet. For those of you that have access and would like to avail yourself of that service, you can go to our website at www.adagreatlakes.org and follow the links which will include accessing programs and services, and from programs and services, you would be accessing the audio conference series, from there you will be able to connect to the actual captioning itself. If you have any questions, again, contact your ADA center and they will be able to assist you if you are having difficulty getting connected to that information. Without further ado I''d like to get into our program today and introduce our speaker. Her name is Christina Galindo Walsh and she is a disability legal specialist with the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems. The program today is titled Vote 2004: Will people with disabilities be able to vote? What are the issues and where are we today? Christina has agreed to join us today and provide some of her insight and expertise because she oversees all of NAPA''s voting training and technical assistance efforts to the congressionally mandated protection advocacy systems. So she works with all the systems across the country in the various states and has spear-headed the effort for the Help America Vote Act of 2002 or many of us call HAVA. The Protection Advocacy Systems are part of that legislation and so she has been spearheading their activities. Their goal has been work to ensure the election access to individuals with disabilities is available. She also specializes in Title 2 and 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to joining NAPA she worked as a litigation associate in Miami, Florida focusing on litigation under the ADA. And prior to law school she worked in various special education classrooms in the Miami Dade and Leon counties in Florida. She received her law degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee and her BS on Mental Disability from Florida State University''s department of Special Education. So I see, you can see from her background that she has a wide and diverse expertise and experience in the area of disability and across disability perspective. Just a little bit of information about NAPAS, and we use a lot of acronyms in this field, sometimes that can be confusing for people. But just to clarify again that NAPAS stands for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems. They are membership organization of the advocacy systems commonly known as P&As. Many of your, all of your states have the P&As if you are not familiar with it, can you go to the website that Christina will discuss and find out where yours might be. They are federally mandated systems that represent every state and territory to provide protection advocacy services for people with disabilities. They were originally established in 1975 and collectively are the largest providers of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 or HAVA directs P&As to ensures the full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities including registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places. Pursuant to this very broad mandate, the P&As seek to ensure election access to a wide range of individuals with disabilities including but not limited to individuals with cognitive, sensory and physical disabilities. Christina will provide us with information today and at the conclusion of her remarks we will then open it up to a question and answer period for all of those of you that are joining us today via the telephone or via internet. We will be giving you instructions on how to do that when the time comes we will ask that you to be as clear and concise as possible so we can make sure as many people are able to get their questions answered today as possible. The transcript to this program will then be posted along with the audio files onto our website for later archiving so individuals who want to come back to it and refer to it in the or after the session or later-on are free to do so. Before I use up all the time in the session, I will turn it over now to Christina cause she has got the meat to the program and she is why you are all here. So Christina, thank you very much for joining us today and it is all yours.
Thank you, Robin. Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining in on this audio conference. I''d also like to thank the Great Lakes ADA Center and the other DBTACs for hosting this conference on voting. So here we are, 13 days away from the biggest election our country has seen since the infamous election of 2000, that election changed this country, it changed this country and how we thought about voting and our election systems. We no longer feel confident that we will know who won the presidential election the evening of, the day after or even the week after the elections are over. The 2000 election, left a lot up in the air. But with all the heartache which the elections brought, I think that I know this is going to sound weird but we are lucky that 2000 happened because all of those problems existed, we just had not really looked at them. So furthermore, I think that, that election brought up a new respect for voting and participation for all citizens in a democratic process, and this has benefited many community that is traditionally have been disenfranchised including the disability community. Today we are going to examine voting from the perspective of the disability community. We are gonna talk about something that has changed since 2000, many things that haven''t. As well as what you can do to make sure that you, your family members or individuals you work with are able to participate in November 2nd''s election as well as other future elections. So let us get started. First we are going to go to slide 2. And just, I guess, Robin went over it a little bit. I wanted to give an introduction about the P&As, but since she went over it, I will just go through it quickly. As she mentioned, I''m an attorney with NAPAS. NAPAS is a membership Association for Protection Advocacy Systems and Client Assistance Programs known as CAPS. The P&As are Protection Advocacy systems are known in each state, they are in each territory. They are usually an agency or nonprofit. Some P&As have the word P&A in the name of the organization so they are easy to identify. For example in New Jersey, you have the New Jersey P&A or you have Protection and Advocacy Inc. in California. Other P&As don''t have the name that identifies them as a P&A. For instance in Illinois, you have Equip for Equality which is a P&A in that state and then in Texas, you have the Advocacy Inc. Regardless of whether they have P&A in their name or not, there is one in each state and they provide legally based protection advocacy to people with disabilities based on community priorities. Many P&As have been doing work for years, but recently P&As been given a special role by congress to help ensure election access to people with disabilities. On slide 3 it just says the P&A rule under HAVA, in response to the 2000 Election, congress passed Help America Vote Act 2000, which we know is HAVA. HAVA does a lot of things, but right now I just wanted to focus on the P&A rule under HAVA. HAVA directs them to help ensure the sole participation of people with disabilities and the electoral process including doing such tasks as registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places, we will be talking more about HAVA in a little bit. But I just wanted to mention their role, the P&A role under HAVA. One thing I did want to mention as well is the P&As have a pretty broad role as Robin mentioned. One thing they can''t do with that money is litigate. But they can engage in voting litigation using other non-HAVA funds that they may have available. So now, going to slide 3, did I say slide 3? Oh I''m sorry, slide 4, let us look at the problem that some individuals with disabilities encountered while trying to vote in 2000. The U.S. General Accounting Office, better known as the GAO conducted a study of physical access to the election in 2000. The GAO is a congressional investigative agency that examines the use of public funds they evaluate federal programs and activities, and according to this GAO report in which they studied election access, they found that 84%, that is a lot, of polling place had some barrier to access. 27% of counties studied did not take into account accessibility when visiting polling places. None of the polling places visited had special ballots or voting equipment adapted for voters who are blind. Going to slide 4. It says, what did state election officials cite? What did state election officials cite as the biggest hurdle for providing accessible elections. They said lack of funding, they had no money, they couldn''t afford it. While funding may put constraints on election officials, it is not an acceptable excuse. I will venture to say in many cases, it is a lack of priorities, a lack of education and a lack of will. So those of you who are actually interested in reading the entire GAO report, there is a link to it on NAPAS''s website and that site is in your materials. We will talk a little more about that in a minute. On slide 6, looking forward to November 2nd, are things going to be better? Will people with disabilities be able to vote? Well the truth is, there is not one answer. Things will be better in some places. Polling places and areas may be more accessible and some poll workers will have received appropriate training so they will not be wrongly turning people with mental disabilities away or they will be providing accommodations that they should be providing. And for the first time, many individuals with disabilities will be able to vote privately and independently because of updated voting machines. But there definitely will be repeats with problems individuals with disabilities have experienced. Now while many of these problems that arise are out of a voter''s control, there is something voters can arm themselves with if they run into problems. As corny as this sounds, it is knowledge, and that is going to be the key to voting this year, knowledge. Now we go to Slide 6, we talk about knowledge. Voters need to know their rights. Many but not all of the problems that voters with disabilities face are not the result of people trying to keep people with disabilities from voting, there are some instances of that, but instead there are often the results of poor training and lack of knowledge of election workers, regarding the rights of individuals with under law. So we want to do today, what we are going to do today, first we are going to have a brief overview of some of the laws that affect people with disabilities. And then I want to go through an election day plan with you. And hopefully that will help eliminate some problems, not all of them. But it will better assist you, have a better chance at having a successful time at the polling place. Slide 8, what are some key federal election laws that protect or assist voters with disabilities? There is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1985. There is the National Voter Registration Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act. Now, with the exception of the ADA, these laws cover federal elections only. Not state or local elections, although your state or county may choose to apply the standards laid out by these federal laws to local elections as well. They are not required to do so. These federal laws were created by the Congress of the United States and they apply to the whole country. Your state will have many other laws that will apply to elections as well and those are fine. The only thing that those state laws can''t do is they can''t conflict with these federal laws and they can''t give you less rights than the federal laws give you. They can give you more, but they can''t give you less. Let us move to slide 9 and start with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There is only one part of the Voting Act that applies to voters with disabilities. That is section 208. It guarantees people with disabilities the right to have assistance in voting from a person they choose. Section 208 covers voters who require assistance by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read and write, that is how the statue read. Voters covered by this provision may be given assistance by a person of the voter''s choice. The only person a voter cannot bring with them is their employer or an agent of their employer or officer or agent of the voter''s union. Obviously those individuals could persuade you to vote a certain way. They don''t want somebody who is going to have an intimidating effect on the voter, but pretty much after that, anybody, you can bring anybody with you. Despite this law being around almost 40 years, the problem that people with disabilities encounter in regard to this provision of the Voting Rights Act is that poll workers know the voter, often they know that the voter is entitled to assistance, but they believe the person can''t just bring anyone in. And often times they insist that they are the ones that need to assist the voter. Again, the Voting Rights Act provides that a voter with a disability who needs assistance can bring anyone they choose to bring except an employer or union rep. That means you can bring a friend, family member, even if it is your 10-year-old. Now, moving to slide 10, we have the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, also known as VAEHA. VAEHA strives to make elections accessible to handicapped and elderly individuals. The Act was passed in 1984 and thus uses that data terminology handicapped. Generally requires polling places to be physically accessible to people with disabilities. If no accessible location is available than an alternative means of casting a ballot is required. The law defines the word handicap as having a temporary or permanent physical disability, physical disability. Now despite defining it this way, which would seem to exclude other disability, the act also oddly goes on to require states to make registration and voting aids available for people with disabilities, including having large print and TTY available, even though it just say physical, so go figure. Another aspect of HAEVA is that no notarization or medical certification is required of a voter who meets the definition of a handicapped voter, with respect to an absentee ballot or an application for such a ballot. However, there are a couple of exceptions. Your state law can require certification to establish eligibility if you want to automatically receive an absentee ballot for all elections or if you want to apply for an absentee ballot after the deadline has passed. Slide 11 is the National Voter Registration Act, I''m just going to quickly mention it. It is commonly known as the NVRA or known as well as the motor-voter act. The NVRA tries to make it easier for all Americans to vote. One of the basic purposes of the act is to increase the historically low registration rates of minorities and people with disabilities that has resulted from discrimination. To that end, the NVRA requires all offices of state funded programs that are primarily engaged in providing services to people with disabilities to provide all program applicants with voter registration forms. They also need to assist them in completing the forms and to transmit the completed forms on their behalf to the appropriate state official. If you take part of a program that is state funded and they are primarily engaged to providing people with disabilities. Let us say like work rehabilitation. Work rehabilitation when you apply, you should be provided with an opportunity to register to vote when you are applying for that program. Slide 12 is the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA requires state and local governments to give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of program services and activities they offer including voting. Many of you know already that the part of the ADA that applies to state and local governments is Title 2. And Title 2 requires state and local government to do a variety of things, such as like follow architectural standards in new construction and alterations of their building, relocate programs and provide access in inaccessible older buildings, communicate effectively with people who have hearing, vision or speech disabilities and make reasonable accommodations to policy practices and procedures as long as those modifications do not cause fundamentally alter the nature of the service program or activity being provided. What does all this mean to voting? Well, first I''m going to mention that unlike the other voting laws that we have been talking about that only apply to federal elections, the ADA applies to both state and federal elections. The ADA also covers many different kinds of disabilities, while the other voting laws we have been talking about are much tailored to certain types of disabilities. Now when you talk about Title 2 of the ADA, you are talking about what the law calls Program Access. Which means that every single thing does not need to be accessible. You got to look at the program as a whole and whether you can use it. We have received some guidance on what the limitations are regarding ADA and voting, let us move to the next slide, slide 13 to talk about that. The Department of Justice which is the federal agency that provides guidance on the ADA has issued opinions on the legality of certain practices of election officials. Here is some of the things we have learned from them. Title 2 does not apply or require every polling place to be accessible to persons with mobility disability. It does not guarantee privacy to people with disabilities when they are voting and does not guarantee voters who are blind the right to cast or vote in secret. The department has found that in situations where an individual with a disability can''t enter in a polling site because of inaccessible, curbside voting is a viable solution to the problem. Basically, someone will come out to the curb and bring you your ballot or bring the machine or whatever it is. So under the ADA, curbside voting is an effective alternative means of providing access. Additionally the department has a pint that a voter with a disability can be made to vote in a hallway or another location where there is no privacy and that is okay even though other voters are entitled to privacy. Regardless of these limitations, there has been successful ADA voting cases out there. These cases have dealt with a wide variety of issues, not just physical access, for instance the ADA has been used to challenge state laws that state that anyone under guardianship is unable to vote. There is a case out of Maine, it seems there is broad support for this proposition for that decision in Maine. Basically the decision said that if you understand, are able to understand what it means to cast a ballot, they just cannot put a blanket prohibition that says, you are under guardianship, you can''t vote. One more thing before we move on, The Department of Justice has recently put out a guide, that can be used to survey the accessibility of a polling place. The survey deals with such issues as accessible parking and passenger loading zones, it has accessible routes to the polling place, from public transportation spots, and accessible tables and booths at the polling place. A copy of that survey is available on the DOJ''s website which is www.ada.gob or it is also available on NAPAS''s website. Which again, the website is in your materials. Moving to slide 14, we had the wild election of 2000. Everyone is up in a.m. about all that went wrong. Much of the public lost confidence in elections. So Congress decided to pass an Election Reform Act. The Act was signed into law in November 2002. It was called the Help America Vote Act as we mentioned. It is called HAVA. It is supposed to fix the problems we saw in 2000 and improve elections. HAVA is filled with a lot of things it hopes to do, for instance, the law provides funding to replace antiquated voting machines, so by hanging chads and lever machines in the future. It also provides funding to improve election administration. It creates minimum standards for election. Administration and voting, so we have minimum standards which everyone in the country needs to follow or needs to have. It requires each state to have provisionary ballots available and an administrative procedure for voting complains. And also HAVA creates a new federal agency called the Election Assistance Commission, the EAC to serve as a clearinghouse for election administration information. In slide 14 we have the various disability provisions of HAVA. HAVA requires by first of all January 1st, 2006, so that is still in the future, there will be at least one voting machine at each polling place that provides private and independent access to individuals with disabilities. So remember when we talk about the ADA, how the DOJ has found that individuals with disabilities were not required to have private voting and this not only provides private voting but provides for private and independent voting, which is key to many individuals, especially individuals who are blind and have had to rely on somebody to cast their ballot. HAVA sets minimum standard for accessibility of voting machines. HAVA makes accessibility grants available to states and local units of government to improve physical and non-visual access to polling places. It taps P&As to help ensure election access to people with disabilities and it requires that people with disabilities or representatives of people with disabilities be part of a committee that the states need to put together regarding its compliance with HAVA. And finally, it also makes funding available for research on vote and accessible voting technology. Now a couple of quick things about HAVA, first many of its provisions will not be in effect this election, including the provision that requires one fully accessible voting machine in each polling place. And second many provisions of the act are purposely vague so states can fill in the details on how they are implemented. This act received a lot of support by partisan support. One of things they did was to give the states a lot of latitude on how they implement it, so it is kinda vague. Which may be good or bad, depending on which state you live in. Especially when they are filling in the details. Now, let us go to slide 16, we talked about the federal voting laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities. Let us talk about a few common problems experienced by voters with disabilities. There is inaccessible polling places, and this includes polling places that are actually accessible but they are made inaccessible by barriers put up by election workers or by poorly marked accessible entrances. When I voted in the 2000 election, I voted on my way to work, and I was actually in Florida and I remember when I came out of the polling place, the election workers were putting up, roping off the whole disability part the accessible part of the parking lot. I went up to them and I said, why are you doing this? Well, we don''t want people to get up close. So you know, sometimes I have to go in and talk to the supervisor of that polling site, but this happens very often. You know election worker officials will choose an accessible site and then poll workers will based on what they think it is a good idea will either not open the accessible entrance or take away some of the accessible features. There is also voters, voters are challenged quite a bit because they have a disability. We see this most often with voters with cognitive disabilities. They will be questioned about whether they are, why they are voting, if they should be voting, they can vote, et cetera. They are also, the next one, there is some words missing in this one, the problems we are talking about here is when poll workers do not know how to use the voting equipment accessible features or refuse to provide an accommodation to voters with disabilities. Again sometimes there is an accessible machine or a way to make things accessible. But the poll workers don''t know how to use the accessible features or they haven''t been told that they need to learn or need to provide certain accommodations. There is also a refusal to accept non-traditional signatures, a problem we will see a lot, such as an X or a signature in print that kind of throws people off for some reason. And they say you need to have a traditional signature now. Your signature should match the one on record, but not some poll worker''s concept of what a traditional signature should look like. We talked about the assistance of choice provision under the Voting Rights Act and how often poll workers will insist that only they or another poll worker can assist the voter with a disability. And so again that is a big problem. The last one we listed here is when election workers refuse to provide voters assistance or they provide assistance poorly. They rush voters, fail to give assistance. Voters who are blind, you know I have heard this a lot, that the election worker will be like, you want to vote for that guy? Or hey, he is voting for so and so, they start talking about - you know repeating the voter''s choice out loud. That is definitely poor assistance. So now you know of a few examples of some of the problems folks have experienced. I''m sure you all know there are plenty more out there. Now slide 17. We just heard some of the accessibility problems, so what improvements will be in place this year because of HAVA? Well first, remember that the accessibility requirements that are not in place until January 1st, 2006 most of them, also funding, you know, we talked about money, and how people complain about money. Funding for this Act on all regards and including the disability parts have been significantly short of what Congress authorized in the Help America Vote Act. So despite these things, you know, what improvements will we see? Well, this year you will see some accessible voting machines, some voters will be using updated machines, many of which will improve accessibility and allow voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently. Some polling places will be better with-will have better accessibility. Many disability advocates have been working with election officials in their area to identify voting barriers. States have also received grants under HAVA to improve polling place access but as I said, it hasn''t been a whole lot of money. However, funding, hasn''t been that much, but some areas-you should see some improvements in some areas, but I think, you know, there is still a lot of barriers out there, so I''m going to be honest with you. You will also see, again, I say some, poll workers that are better trained in working with people with disabilities in providing accommodations to them. Many P&As have been asked to help develop training for election workers and they have actually been out there doing the trainings as well. So that is a good thing. I know that proper training for election workers is a big part of ensuring election access to people with disabilities. A poll worker can make or break a voter''s day. And with proper training, most of these folks do the right thing. For example, the Tennessee P&A had worked with another disability group in their state, to train poll workers on the rights of people with disabilities. I believe this was before HAVA was even passed. But I''m not exactly sure. But when election day rolls around, a group of individuals with developmental disabilities came to vote. There were some poll watchers which are different from poll workers, poll watchers are individuals that represent one of the political parties or candidates, and they told the poll workers that these individuals shouldn''t be allowed to vote because of their disability. The job of these poll watchers is basically to stop people who shouldn''t be voting or make sure that everything is going okay for the candidate. Because of the training that these poll workers had received, they knew that the individuals had the right to vote and they allowed them to vote. Also the poll workers had their training materials with them, so they contacted the P&A to report the incident and the P&A was able to follow up on the incident after the election. So again, poll worker training is key and there has been some quality and quantity training out there. And finally, we are hoping that many more people with disabilities are informed about their rights so they can advocate with-for themselves at the polls. Now, moving to slide 18. So we have covered quite a bit as far as what some of the laws are and what is going out there-excuse me, going on out there, in terms of election access. Now we are going to focus on some concrete ways for you to prepare yourself on election day. First of all register to vote. You know, first thing you need to do is register to vote, I''m hoping most of you have done this. Many states the voter registration dateline has passed already but there are six states that have same-day registration, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming, so if you are in that state you are still in luck and North Dakota has no voter registration so you can vote without being on any list. For those of you who live in states in which voter registration deadline has passed and you didn''t register, go ahead and register to vote now while it is on your mind so you will be ready for the next election in your state. Now, the next thing to do, to prepare yourself for election day is to call your election office to find out three things. First of all, you need to confirm that you are on the list of registered voters. There was a-this was a problem for many voters in 2000, you want the to make sure that you are still on the list or if you recently registered to vote, that you actually made it on the list. You can do this by calling your local election office, they should be listed in the phone book in the section on county, city, or township government whatever, however you guys divide it up in your area, they will be located under elections or board of elections, supervisor of elections, clerk, registrar auditor, something like that. You can also find them through local directly assistance. When you call the election office, you can just give them your address and they will tell you where you can vote as well. Now, I want to emphasize, these are things you should do before election day, because it is often very hard to get through on the phone on the day of an election because they are getting tons and tons of calls. Again, now, the second reason you should call is I just mentioned it, you want to confirm your polling place. Sometimes polling places change. You may want to make sure you are going to the right place in order not to waste time and to make sure your ballot is actually counted. I''m going to get to that about your ballot being counted and being at the right place. You know, we will talk about that more in a second when we talk about provisional ballots. The third reason to call your election official is to confirm the polling place you are assigned to is accessible if you need it to be accessible. Now, I encourage you to plan ahead and do this. But if for some reason you are not able to do this and you wake up on election day, you are not sure where to vote, don''t panic, there are ways to find out where your polling place is. Some of the stuff you get in the mail from the election office. We will have information, for instance, if you receive a voter card, a sample ballot or other notice from your local election office, it may tell you the address of your polling place. If you have access to the internet, you can go to www.mypollingplace.com and you can put in your address in there and it will tell you where your polling place is. Some of the areas are not available yet until 7 days before the election but you can always do that.You can also ask a neighbor. Often voters who live in the same building, block or your street will generally vote in the same place. So they may be able to tell you. The next thing you need to do before election day is apply for an absentee ballot if you are going to be out of town or can''t make it to the polling place. Some states dateline for absentee ballots have passed but some have not, also some states let you come into the election office to vote on an absentee ballot and in person. Call your election office and find out what you can do if you can''t make it to the polls on election day. I''m also going to skip ahead and talk about early voting. 32 states have early voting. If your state has early voting, I encourage you to find out where it is taking place and to take advantage of this opportunity. There are various reasons why this is a good idea, but just to name a few, I mean, first of all, early voting generally takes place in a central location, so instead of going to your normal polling place, there will be several early voting locations in your area. These sites are generally accessible. So if you are concerned about accessibility on election day, you know early voting may be for you. Another reason is, if you get to the early voting location and there is a problem, for instance, you are not on the list, you, you know-you are a voter who needed to bring id and didn''t. You have a chance to figure out the problems and get things straightened out. It is not just you know election day and now you are out of luck. Also, early voting centers may be less crowded than your local polling place on election day. So that is just a few good reasons why you may want to think about that. Something else you need to do for election day is to familiarize yourself with the ballot and the voting equipment you will use. Most jurisdiction send out sample ballot to most voters. So look that over and some local offices also provide opportunities for the public to learn about the voting machines they will use, frankly, this close to an election I doubt that those opportunities are still available. However, you can still familiarize yourself with the sample ballot. Another thing to do is get a copy of the rights of voters in your state. This is very, very important. We talked about some federal laws that applied to the entire country. However, all states have many other laws that deal with elections and voter''s rights, it is very important you familiarize yourself with them. Many organizations have put together materials to educate voters about their rights. Many of them provide what they call voter palm cards or bill of rights that voters can take with them to the polls. This allows a voter not only to know their rights, but also the voter can use these cards to show poll workers what they are entitled to if they are not getting it. You can get many of these on the web, the Election Protection Coalition has some of these on their website. Their website is www.electionprotection2004.org. That is www.electionprotection2004.org. And also the ACLU has many of their voting page many of the cards for the states, so they can be reached at www.aclu.org, I believe that is in the materials. If you don''t have web access, you can also call your local ACLU for a voter palm card. Or your local P&A may, many of which have voter assistance lines that may help you. Finally, educate yourself about the candidates and the issues that you will be voting on. The Legal Women Voters does an excellent job at providing non-partisan information to voters. So whatever the issues are that are important to you, you can find out where the candidate stands. So you can contact your local league or visit democracy.net which is one of the websites they use to provide information, and they provide all kinds of information about major races in your state and that website is www.dnet.org. So it is-democracy.net and that is the League of Women Voters site. So now, let us go to 19. So it is election day, you are going to partake in early voting. What do you bring with you? Number one is identification. It is always a good idea to bring identification with you to the polls. Some states require all voters to show identification. And even in states where they are not supposed to ask you for identification, poll workers sometimes do. Having identification with you will make voting easier. We will talk a little more about identification in just a second. Another thing you should bring with you is a copy of your sample ballot that you have marked and/or notes on the candidates or issues to help you vote. If you need assistance in voting and you prefer to have someone besides the poll worker help you, bring that person with you. Final thing you may want to think about is bringing the voting rights palm card or other information with you. Many of these cards have the number of statute that you can show the election worker to help them know what law you are referring to. One more thing, actually, it is not on this list, and you may want to consider bringing it. Is, if you have access to a cell phone, you may want to bring that one with you as well. You can use your phone to call an elections hotline if you are having any problems and you need advice. Many P&As are running hotlines in their states, and also NAPAS as well many P&As are working with the Election Protection Coalition and their hotline which is available to everyone in the U.S.. Attorneys and law students will be answering the phones in order to answer questions and give advice. The number for the hotline is 1-866-OUR-VOTE. That is 1-866-OUR-VOTE. We will talk more about that hotline a little later. Now moving to 20, slide 20. Identification, who must have it. Must have it. According to HAVA, any individual who has registered to vote by mail and has not previously provided a copy of their identification, or a voter who is voting in a given jurisdiction for the first time must be prepared to produce current and valid photo identification or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. When implementing these requirements, they also encourage to expand the list of acceptable ids or identifiable documents beyond those laid out in HAVA. So you may want to check with other forms of identification, if there is some other forms of identification which your state allows. Please note there are certain documents that show the name and address of a voter, but are most likely. I''m not saying they are not for sure, but most likely they are not accepted. Because they are not government documents. That includes a homeless shelter id card with the voters name and address of the shelter. A credit card bill with the name and address of the voter. A lease agreement with the name and address of the voter. Again, if you have id with you, bring it. That way even if you are not required to show id, you won''t have to deal with it at the moment. And you can always file a complaint about it after you have voted. Now slide 21. Provisional ballots. This is a biggie. Provisional ballots are special ballots which a voter casts at the polling place, but they are kept separate from all the regular ballots until the election official decides whether or not they will count them. Provisional ballots are temporary or conditional ballots and they are required under HAVA. Now, in the way of a little background regarding these ballots, in 2000, many people showed up to their polling places, found they were not on the voter list and were sent away without being allowed to vote. What we later learned many of these people should have been allowed on the rolls, but because of mistakes in the way the lists were kept by the election officials, they did not appear on the rolls. So what HAVA did was require that individuals whose eligibility to vote is in doubt, they requires that they would get an opportunity to vote by a provisional ballot and that later election officials could verify whether these individuals were indeed eligible to vote and whether their ballots should be counted. What are some reasons why a person may be given a provisional ballot? They are not on the voter list. They are an individual that must have id. The ones that must. There is a bona fide legal challenge to the voter''s eligibility. And this would depend on your states, I know there is some state laws that state that you can be challenged for various reasons, some say mental incompetency and things like that. So if you are challenged because of some state law, you may have to vote a provisional ballot. Now while a provisional ballot is intended as a safeguard for voters whose eligibility is in question by not sending them away by not voting. Some election officials have chosen to apply standards for counting these ballots that are unrelated to the voter''s eligibility. Such standard includes that in order for a provisional ballot to count, it must be cast in the proper polling place. Another provision requires that the voter has to fill out the enclosed envelope correctly in order for it to count. Now you know, this is-there is great concern about how provisional ballots will play out on election day. Some have referred to provisional ballots as the hanging chad of election 2004. In a primary earlier this year, well more than half of the provisional ballots cast in Chicago, in about 2400 ballots were not counted because the affidavits which accompanied them were not complete, or filled out incorrectly. The big concern in the civil rights community and other communities who are concerned about voters actually getting to vote about how provisional ballots will work out. There is also a concern that provisional ballot will be a back door for poor polling place operations, or a catch off for all problematic situations. So what is my advice regarding provisional ballots? One, bring your id with you to the polling place to avoid that issue. Two, take part in early voting. You have time to resolve problems and since all early voting takes place at an early voting center, you don''t have to worry about being at the correct polling place in order to have your provisional ballot cast if that is what your state law says. If your name does not appear on the list of voters at the polling place. First ask them to check again and in some states, poll workers can check a state wide list. Maybe you are registered vote at another polling place and can head over there to cast your ballot. If your name is not on the statewide list or the poll worker doesn''t have the state wide list, you can cast a provisional ballot and should be given information how to check whether your ballot was actually counted. So now, what to do is if you experience this is slide 22. What to do if you experience election day problems. Here we have, call toll free, 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report problems and to receive advise on what to do. This hotline is being operated by the Election Protection Coalition, which is composed of many organizations including NAPAS. Also many P&As are running voting hotlines and providing backup to callers of the Election Protection number, that may require more technical disability assistance. A list of the P&As and their voting current contacts are in NAPAS''s website, and I actually forget to send a list with this program. So I can send a copy to the Great Lakes ADA Center, and I will make sure to do that. But what you do want to do is that, if you are having a problem, let someone know if you have a question, let someone know. The 1-866-OUR-VOTE, they have been recruiting about 6,000 attorneys and law students to work this. And they are trying to do everything from an automated system where you can call in and have find out where is your polling place and things of that nature and so when in doubt either give them a call or contact your local P&A. Now slide 23, again the voting rights cards that we talked about, those palm cards with your rights, can be found at the election protection. Here it says www.ourvote.com. Which is one of the websites for the Election Protection Coalition, but the website I gave earlier www.electionprotection2004.org, I was looking at that after I had sent this in, it seems to have more states posted at the moment. Also the ACLU is on here and they have voters rights cards on their website. Just go to the voting page. You can also try your local P&A for some information. Slide 24, if you need more information on our website we have, if you go to the front of our website there is a voting icon, and you can get some information there. We can add information on contact information for your state P&A, including their voting contact. On our voting webpage we have voting law including, we have this great chart that breaks down, a list of all the state laws affecting the voting rights of people with mental disabilities. That is on there. Additionally, there is a chart that includes most states law regarding their provisional ballots so that is on there as well. There is also as you see there is disability voting resources, general voting resources, links to other voting pages on the web. And we are constantly getting new things and posting it up on there. So you can keep checking back. And now, I guess for the last slide, slide 25 before we start taking questions, I just want to say that, I know that in the past many people with disabilities have chosen to opt out of voting because of the problems and frustrations they have experienced. This year some of you are going to the polls and you are going to have better experience. But I try to honest and tell you that some of you will not. And despite the potential that you will experience problems voting, I''m here to say that it is critical, critical, that people with disabilities get out and vote November 2nd. Obviously, it is an important election and you should have your voice heard. But also, we are at a time in this country where we are reforming how we conduct elections. We need people with disabilities to vote so that if they do experience problems, we can know what the problems are, where they are occurring, so that improved access to voting with people with disabilities can be a key component of the election reform that will continue to happen over the next few years, it is critical. So please get out and vote and keep in touch with your P&A regarding any issues you may experience. And remember your vote is your voice. Now I''m willing to take any questions.
Great well, thank you. A lot of information Christina, I know, it is kind of hard to almost do a brain dump of everything you know about this topic and obviously been very involved in it. Everyone is pretty curious as they are watching what is happening out there, and they are on local communities you know, being involved in-either as somebody from the election authorities themselves or a person with disabilities who is directly interested in voting or individuals who are advocates, who are helping to ensure that people have at least an opportunity to vote. I know before we go on, I was asking you as we were all watching the problems already occurring in Florida, whether or not any of that was disability related? And I think you said no, that not specifically, that is more generally just the election problems in general that Florida not necessary tie to disability but of course, people are going to be very curious to see how much impact does HAVA or any of the increased attention to these issues really have this year in the elections. And I think people also shouldn''t forget this is just one election, this is the presidential election this year, but we have many elections for state and local and other things that happen all the time at other cycles during the year and voting in general is something people should be attuned to and not just when it is a huge presidential election or something of that nature as well. Yeah. So why don''t we go ahead and give some instructions to our participants for asking questions and let them have an opportunity to pose some of their queries to you, Christina and engage in some discussion with you. So why don''t we go ahead and give them instructions.
My question is regarding someone who is deaf or hearing impaired and who is responsible for the interpreter?
Is your question who is responsible for an interpreter? At the polling place?
Under the ADA, this is just you know, it is a pure ADA question. And you just-we have to put the same analysis for that-is, you know, you are going to look at what kind of communication is done. I mean if it is more of a complex communication, the local election official has the duty to be providing you with effective communication. So we have to look at the same analysis we look at when we look at any kind of effective communication situation that a local government needs to provide. If they are just asking you to come in and sign your name and things of that nature and it is not you know, the ADA considers as complex and would rise to that level of requiring an interpreter, then if they can provide another means of effectively communicating with you, then that is fine, but they need to provide some effective communication. If it is more complex, then just like in the regular ADA contacts they need to provide the interpreter, it is the duty of the election office or the local government to provide that interpreter. But again, they are not expected to just you show up that day and tell them. So you would have to contact your local election official before the election and tell them this is what you require, and if it is you need some effective communication, and they are going to have to determine whether-and with your assistance, what kind of assistance do they normally have with voters, is it just like here pointing sign here, or go over there kind of thing, or is it something more complex that is going to require an interpreter.
I would like to know about people with cognitive disabilities and voting. I think she brought it up for-or she mentioned it while she was presenting. I was wondering, is there any instances where they may be denied the right to vote.
Well, we definitely seen in the past, many instances where people with cognitive disabilities have been denied the right to vote. Now, what I mentioned for now is, speaking as there is a chart of state laws affecting the voting rights of people with disabilities that is available on our website. That kind of breaks down what the law is in your state. And one of the things, you know there has been a lot of discussion about this lately and it is interesting you bring this up. You know regarding whether you know people should be allowed to vote, if there should be voting tests for people and things of that nature. What you need to do is forget all that and look at what your law says. You know generally a good law will say that you know, you are allowed to vote unless you have been, you know, you have a court has specifically taken away your right to vote. Again, I don''t know what the Tennessee law says specifically, but that is available on our website. You can look at that, but generally, people with disabilities including cognitive disabilities are allowed to vote unless they do not understand the nature of casting a ballot. And what it means to be participating in an election.
I have kind of a two-part question. One, I know some of the new electronic voting machines require a reach of 25 inches to push the top button. Is there a maximum allowable distance that the voting machines can have? And also, can a person with a disability be required to prove that they have a disability? If you ask for an accommodation, do you have to prove that you have the disability?
Okay, as far as the first part goes, HAVA itself does not provide you know what, how, any specifics like the ADA accessibility guidelines on reach guidelines and things like that. I think though a good measure would be to look at retraintive within the ADA accessibility guidelines, but HAVA itself does not, although it does provides some limited standards for accessibility it doesn''t go into that great of a detail. Now as far as providing-I''m trying to think of the context where an individual would come in and require to prove that they had a disability. I mean, I don''t think you need to prove that, you know, I''m trying to think if you are thinking about voter assistance or things of that nature. If you are thinking of something like that under the Voting Rights Act. You really wouldn''t have to bring that. Because someone who couldn''t read, it says, individuals who can''t read need to provide. They would need to prove they can''t read. It depends on what the context of what you are saying, in general they would not have to prove that they have a disability. But under the VAEHA, the Voting Accessibility for Elderly and Handicapped Act there would need to be some certification under certain context, for instance if a voter as I mentioned was looking to receive an absentee voting ballot automatically or is applying for one after the voter registration deadline certification of disability would be required.
Okay, I don''t actually have a question, I have a comment that I will be interested to hear what your thoughts are. And my feeling is that people with disabilities won''t be able to realize the benefits of the election reformat of HAVA until public confidence is restored. Here in Palm Beach County after the 2000 election, we purchased touch screen machines, every touch screen machine has the ability to have an audio ballot for people who are blind or who can''t read. But at the same time because there is so little public confidence in the system we are all being encouraged to use absentee ballots to create a paper trail. So I think that until public confidence is restored we won''t actually have true election reform.
Thank you for your comment. You know, the whole electronic voting machine and the paper trail thing has been obviously a hot issue. And to some extent we have kind of moved away from it. And I got to say I''m grateful because at this point we not paying attention to issues we could fix by November 2004 and which we know are disenfranchisers. The issue regarding the confidence in the voting machine, that is definitely you need to have confidence in the voting system. The one thing you know, again as I said, with problems you know. Problems like bring heartache, but they also bring an opportunity to explore the situation and actually to make things right. There is been a lot of debate about the accessible voting machines and also regarding having a paper trail. Now you know, I think there needs to be an audit capacity at some point and I want people to make sure they understand I''m saying an audit capacity as oppose to a paper trail. And when I mean audit capacity, a way people can feel confident that their vote is being counted. Now people have, you know somebody rode in the one horse into the city which was you know the paper trail and now that is the only way people think you can audit an election or audit a voting machine. You know the problems with paper is that, while there is a theory that these machines may not work there is no theory that paper there is problems with paper. We have known for years and years, that there is problems with paper, papers manipulated, it gets lost, it gets spoiled, they get mysteriously dumped a batch. So you know, we need to look about auditing, and it is definitely a big concern for people with disabilities because that auditing capacity needs to be accessible to them as well. But we also need to find in general as voters and participants in this democracy a true audit system that doesn''t just make us feel better as I feel paper makes us feel better, but that actually does the job and restores confidence. And I believe the election, I know the Election assistance Commission is working with the National Institute on Standards and Technology to look at what are good auditing systems so they can recommend what people should be adopting.
Yes, thank you. We were wondering if HAVA addresses anything on the issue of time allowed for voting once a person is inside the voting booth.
No, it doesn''t, but you know, it is as much time as you need once you get in there. I know that people I know what is done theoretically or what should be done is different sometimes than what happens, but there are no restraints, just like it doesn''t say you can take whatever time you want it doesn''t say you shouldn''t. You have to be done in a certain amount of time. So you know, I think especially for people, many people with disabilities who need to have a ballot. Either needs to read a ballot over and over, have trouble reading the ballot, may read it slow, may have someone else reading the ballot to them, etc, etc. They need you know that is a reasonable accommodation to be in there as long as it takes. I mean, so your answer is, no it doesn''t address that issue specifically. But that is something that-there is nothing to the contrary either.
Can the state issue any rules or guidelines on that.
The state could issue, states could always issue any rules or guidelines on anything. But it can''t as I said earlier, it can''t contradict any rights or any rights you have under federal law. And I would venture to say that if they say you need to be done in five minutes, that that would conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act which allows for reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities and that may be, that will definitely be one of them.
Could you tell us if there are any parts of these laws that address the right of the disabled person to be a poll worker?
They do not specifically address the rights of a person, but I know that one of the exciting things about HAVA actually is how many times they mentioned people with disabilities, they are really thinking about people with disabilities and including them. I can tell you the Election Assistance Commissions, the EAC, which was established the federal agency that was established by HAVA is really pushing. They are giving, they are the ones that give guidance to the states on issues, and they have been pushing to include individuals with disability to be poll workers. Obviously it makes sense to include everyone and to have people who are sensitive to the issues and who can educate-to educate other election workers about the issues that people with disabilities face. Also, we think it is a great thing, because they are going to need to make it accessible. They are going to need lots of programs and activities upstate or local government. They need to make that accessible to that person who volunteers, so like I said, HAVA doesn''t specifically mention that issue, but I know that the election assistance commission established under HAVA is actively encouraging individuals with disabilities to register as, or volunteer as poll workers.
There has been a call in our area for the need of poll workers, and when I called, I was told that I could lose my disability payments if I volunteered because-well, it is not really volunteer, because they get a payment, because they take retirement benefits out. Is there somebody we can get to, to address this issue?
Well, I would, you are in Ohio? I would first of all contact your local P&A. Have you tried calling the P&A about this? I would try contacting the local P&A about this, perhaps they could help you. This is definitely an issue, I''m interested in hearing more about this. I mean I hadn''t thought about it. Because some do pay, but I had not hear about this specification. Now you are saying that they are saying that your disability, can you say exactly which income would be affected by this?
Well, yes. There is a PERS retirement system and if you have any credits under that system because they-the poll pay has to pay into this, they are saying I could lose my disability payments because of that.
I would definitely contact your local P&A about this. The Ohio P&A. They are listed. There is a HAVA contact on our website. And if you can''t. If for some reason they can''t help you, why don''t you just you know send me an e-mail back and I will see if I can put you in contact with somebody else.
That is just to clarify their website for NAPAS is www.napas.org. And then you can follow the links for the state P&As from there. Okay. Next question, please.
you mentioned it is ok to bring in a marked piece of paper. Are you allowed to bring it right into the booth with you? Polling place workers sometimes don''t allow you to do this. What does the law say again?
The law that, you should be able to. This is advice that is sent out by various organizations, including the League of Women Voters and everything. The law, I don''t know of any law, I don''t know what state this question is from, that says you can''t bring anything in with you. But I know of no prohibitions that say that you cannot bring something like a sample ballot or any kind of documentation with you. And like I said, I don''t know if there is-I would venture to say, and I don''t know what state you are talking about and I would venture to say that there probably isn''t a state law saying you can''t do that, it is just probably just the poll worker. I don''t know what it is about poll workers sometimes. They are doing a great job. These are people who are volunteering and things like that. But they don''t get-maybe enough training on certain issues, and then they just get really jumpy when you are doing something they haven''t seen before. So again, I don''t know what state you are calling from, but you may want to look into. I would imagine that there is no prohibition that says you cannot bring something in there with you. And if you know-if you kno-if you can''t find something on your own, I would-and you want to bring something in with you, I would maybe contact one of the hotlines, the election protection hotline and see if they know of any state law that prohibits that.
Hi, thank you. You may have already answered this earlier, but can like a state election law trump any-as far as scope of protection. Can a state election law trump any federal protections? No. I know they can''t under ADA?
Right. They can''t under anything. That is like a, it is just not under the ADA, it is basically just a rule of the way our constitution, everything is set up here, like federal law, you know unless it is unconstitutional. But every-these federal laws, these federal voting laws, they give a state can give you just as many rights, and they can give you more rights, but they can''t give you less rights.
Yeah, we pushed the wrong button. I just wanted to amplify a bit on the provisional voting, Illinois is one of the states and I think Christina eluded to that with regard to the last election, it is one of a number of states, I think it is 20 that requires that you be in the right precinct in order to have your provisional vote counted. The HAVA leaves that up to state law, so you have to be eligible under state law. And some states had provisional voting before HAVA, and so they have broader rights, and so a number of people that went to the wrong precinct, the poll worker thought that was fine they would take a provisional ballot and it would be counted for these elections that didn''t require-that weren''t limited to that precinct like governor and above and they were all thrown out. And that accounted for a large number of the ones that were thrown out in Illinois and in New York, and this was just challenged, I believe it was in Florida as being unlawful under HAVA and federal constitutional law, I believe. And the Florida supreme court upheld the requirement that in Florida, that you have to be in the right precinct. So if you are one of those states or just as a general rule. We are advising people to make absolutely sure they are in the right precinct and have that as a question to be verified. So if they say you are not on the rolls, don''t let them give you a provisional ballot until they have determined that you, that that on the address you give them, that you would be in the right place if you were in the poll - on the rolls. Because you could be sent to the right place then your vote will counted. So it is not just poll workers that are applying it differently. Different states have different laws and they are allowed to have different laws. I think that is a flaw in HAVA, I think they should have even that out. But they didn''t. So, you know make sure people know, have something with their address on it, and-or give their address, make sure that they are in the right place. We had a client, a blind voter who was in the right building. There was more than one precinct. He had his card with him, he handed it to the poll worker who didn''t read it, didn''t tell him he was in the wrong precinct and the right precinct was about 15 feet away, and gave him the ballot. He voted provisionally and then it was thrown out. So, that is just one of the problems with provisional voting. And because we are from Illinois and we had such a big problem, we wanted to clarify that. Thanks.
I mean it is definitely a concern, that is what I was trying to bring up. And I''m glad she echoed it. You know provisional ballots, they had a safeguard intention, just certain states because they are allowed to apply it in a different manner, have chosen to make it-to put certain provisions that make it harder for voters to vote. So, yeah, you need to make sure, and people won''t know. Sometimes people you know-I think a lot of people who aren''t educated on this issue have not heard what you have heard today are going to go to the polling place. The poll worker''s going to say, oh, don''t worry, you know here - just vote provisionally and they are going to have a problem and their vote will not be cast. And we are also concerned about long lines, you know. If you don''t want to wait in line, just come here and vote provisionally you know, and I-a bunch of people I''m, I''m, we are concerned with that might happen and people are going to go for it and that will be problematic, so, you know, it is good if you are-if there is no other way for you to vote than provisionally, great, do that. But, you know, make sure that there is no other way and make sure that you are in the right polling place.
Hi, my question has to do with HAVA and state plan in North Carolina under the heading of accessibility for persons with disabilities. It refers to a Rutgers University study that people with disabilities don''t vote as-to the percentage of people without disabilities and that is all it really says. Do other states handle this-that title in the same manner? And are you familiar with any other state HAVA plans that may address it more extensively. Secondly are you familiar with House Bill HR-2239 which is about paper trail?
Well, as for the first question, if you could-I''m not sure I understood what you were referring to regarding the state plans and the-and I thought you were saying about the state plans and the requirement for people with disabilities to participate in that committee, but then you mentioned the Rutgers study. Could you please clarify that?
In the state HAVA plan of North Carolina under the title Accessibility for persons with disabilities it just refers to a Rutgers University study that shows that participation in elections among citizens with disabilities is about 20% lower than the participation among citizens without disabilities.
Okay, yeah. Right. I think what you are-perhaps what you are getting to, these state plans, you know, a lot of people had great hopes for these state plans and just as you know we talked about, some states have done a good job about making sure that these would be great guidance, you know, it supposed to be kind of like a road map for them to think about and demonstrate how they are going to comply with HAVA. And what a lot of states ended up doing, and it was very much to the chagrin of the advocates both from disability and civil rights and other communities was just to either parrot the language back, whatever HAVA put in, that was their state plan, just basically parroted the language back, didn''t really talk about what they were going to do. Or as a gentleman just referred, to, they just put random things in there you know like a study and didn''t really much-say much more about what they were going to do. And that is something we have seen and we haven''t-the-unfortunately, the Election Assistance Commission was not appointed, confirmed until like a year after they were supposed to have started and they are grossly under-budgeted. So we would have liked for them to be able to actually look at these state plans a little carefully and go back to the states and go hmm-but they haven''t been able to. And now as far as the second question regarding the paper trail, the paper trail bill is actually quite a few bills, there is the ones that you reference in the house, there is some in the senate. Right now they are where they are, there is some support from it. You know, here on the hill. People-it is-you know, there is a lot of pressure from the general population to have some paper trails and it is understandable because it is-because people want some sort of confidence in the election. Now again as I had mentioned earlier, you know what kind of confidence are you getting, are you just making yourself feel better, you know? If it is just false hope, false confidence? That is you know my opinion that is that these paper trails are not going to solve the problems that the individuals hope to solve. That is there on the hill. You know a lot of these legislators, people up there on the hill, the lawmakers got their job the way the system is, and they are trying to make sure that it is kept a certain way. So you know, it is not going anywhere soon, it will be interesting to see what happens after the election and what are the solutions people come up with, but I think for the time being it is just kinda being put on the back burner, cause there is so many issues we need to think about.
Unfortunately, we are at the end of our time period here today and this was what always happens is we get going and we have got so many different issues and I know that there are people here who are hanging on the end who did not get their question asked and I think that Christina gave us some resources, contacting your own protection advocacy agency as she had noted. Each of the protection advocacy agency across the country have a project related to compliance with HAVA and have access for people with disabilities to the voting process. So again, I will just repeat her website at www.napas.org, and from there you can find the protection advocacy agency from that may serve your state if you are not already familiar with them.
If you go into, when you get into the NAPAS website, there is on the left-hand side there is a little icon that says Vote and if you are using a reader, you can read on there, it is on the left-hand side. And that will bring you to more voting information. So you could just look that way for that kind of information.
Great. Good. Thank you very much. And hopefully this information provided gives you a little insight. And I think we won''t know a lot probably almost should have a follow-up session to see, okay, how did it go in 2004 and what happened and all of those things and what lessons were learned and I''m sure there will be some, obviously new lessons and some new things that maybe weren''t anticipated yet under this increased microscope on voting and especially its impacts on people with disabilities. But I do want to thank Christina for her time today and for her willingness to share some of this information. For those of you on the line, again, if you have questions that you may not have had answered today, you also are encouraged to contact your Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center and you can locate them at 800-949-4232 both voice and TTY. If you are not aware of which of the centers serves your area, there is a national website for the Disability Business Technical Assistance Centers which is www.adata.org. And from there there is a clickable map that finds the center that serves your specific geographic region. I want to invite all of you back for our session next month, if you are interested, we will be having a representative from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Sharon Rennert, Senior Attorney with their ADA division who will be hosting a session which we have held in the past which is basically ask the EEOC, it is an open question and answer period with the EEOC on employment-related issues, and the session has been very popular in the past. And really anything goes during the session for getting questions asked about employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that session is scheduled for November 16th, 2004 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Central Standard Time. So I invite you to join that, we have many other sessions throughout this year planned, if you have not seen the schedule yet, please feel free to visit our website at www.adagreatlakes.org or contact again your regional Disability Assistance Center as they have this information as well. We will be doing emergency preparedness for people with disabilities in December. Addressing issues of historical properties in January, back by popular demand, the Department of Justice, will be doing an open Q and A in February. We are producing a series of sessions, a three parts in a row series on reasonable accommodation, running March through May of this next year and a variety of other topics, including transportation and access to medical equipment and medical offices and things throughout the remainder of the year. So there is a lot to be offered and I do encourage you to join us. Again thank you very much for being online today and we are looking forward to having you join us in the future. And again Christina, thank you for your time.