Elections Office installs disability access booths for voting

Published: Mar. 1, 2014 at 8:07 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 2, 2015 at 5:44 PM CST
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With primary elections just around the corner, the Lubbock County Elections Office has been busy prepping for voting day.

They're not only concerned with the typical voting booths, but also with organizing and placing services geared toward making the voting process easier for the handicapped.

Dorthy Kennedy with the Lubbock County Elections Office said the motive behind these specialized machines is to give the voters complete independence.

"We have these machines at every location," Kennedy said. "There's at least one unit that is what we call our disability access unit."

Kennedy said these machines have features that assist the hearing and seeing impaired, as well as a number of physical and mobility disabilities.

"Folks with any kind of disability," she said, "no matter how severe or how slight, can vote in secrecy and privacy, and that is the neat part about the machines for the disabled community."

Disability access units are lower and wider to make them more accessible to wheelchairs.

"A wheelchair can roll up to it," Kennedy said. "And we also have the ability to connect tactile or jelly switches to anyone who has a mobility disability."

There are two tactile jelly switches that connect to the voting machine - one to navigate the voter through the ballot, and the other to select the candidate chosen.

They also provide headphones that can be used by anyone who cannot see the ballot or read English or Spanish.

And as with any other voting booth, they offer each voter complete privacy while voting.

There are two Lubbock locations that provide sign language interpreters to assist in the voting process:

  • Byron Martin Technology Center, 32nd St. and Ave. Q
  • Calvary Baptist Church, 82nd St., one block west of Slide Rd.

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