CIDNY has been working on voting rights issues since its inception in 1978. Our Poll Site Accessibility program began performing full poll site surveys in 2003. At the same time our program has been educating voters with disabilities on their rights and working for better training of poll workers, and accessible information on voting through Board of Election mailings and on their website. CIDNY helps voters with disabilities register to vote, access their polling places, learn more about their rights as voters, and to understand new voting laws and how to use the new technologies in voting.
CIDNY’s poll site surveys in New York City have identified recurring barriers preventing voters with disabilities from accessing their neighborhood voting sites, just like anyone else (to see our surveys and reports, click here). In fact since 2003, CIDNY has surveyed 939 polling sites; an average of 75% of which have barriers. Our surveys were used as technical evidence in a lawsuit, whose decision resulted in a remedial order to address these barriers. For more information on the court case, please click here.
From 2005 through September 2014, CIDNY was the downstate Protection and Advocacy for Voter Access (PAVA) contractor, through a grant from New York State’s Commission for the Quality of Care and Advocacy for People with Disabilities (CQCAPD). As a PAVA agency, CIDNY continued helping voters with disabilities register to vote, access polling places, learn more about their rights as voters, and understand the new voting laws. The program allowed CIDNY to offer technical assistance to community-based organizations and agencies that work with voters with disabilities and to help voters with disabilities understand and use the new voting technologies. The downstate PAVA program covered all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Putnam, Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. In 2014, Governor Cuomo abolished CQCAPD and appointed Disability Rights New York (DRNY) as the agency to provide all Protection and Advocacy contracts for the State.
CIDNY’s commitment to voting rights for people with disabilities continues beyond PAVA and we continue our assessments of polling sites, training on rights and accessibility and development of informational material for voters with disabilities. We also continue to offer technical assistance on disability voting rights to voters with disabilities, policy makers, boards of elections and other non-profit organizations. To learn more about the voting rights program and CIDNY’s poll site accessibility project, including information on accessible voting machines please, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell Us How Your Voting Experience Goes
When you vote, tell us how it went with CIDNY’s Voter Survey - click here. Your voting experience – the good and not so good – can help us as we work with policy makers to improve our election process. If you’d like to get involved in our voting rights project or would like more information, contact Monica Bartley, email@example.com.