Accessible Voting Machines
Fairfax County Office of Public
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 711, FAX 703-324-2010
Oct. 24, 2005
Voting Machines in Fairfax County Meet
Accessibility Requirements for Residents with Disabilities
With the Nov. 8 election around the corner, Fairfax County officials want residents with disabilities to know that its voting machines meet the Americans with Disability Act standards for accessibility.
The county’s electronic voting machines comply with a 2002 federal law to allow people with disabilities to cast a secret ballot. The Help America Vote Act mandates that all states must meet this requirement by Jan. 1, 2006.
Weighing just eight pounds, the county’s touch-screen voting machines can be carried to a resident’s car for curbside voting. For voters who are visually impaired, the machines feature a “zoom” function that enlarges the ballot, displaying just one race at a time. Earphones also can be plugged into the machines to hear step-by-step instructions on voting. Voters who are visually impaired or blind can listen to an audio ballot that instructs them on which quadrant of the screen to touch to cast their vote.
Voters who wish to use any of these features should inform the election officer at their polling place. Fairfax County election officers also have received state-sponsored training on making polling places accessible to people with disabilities.
During the past year, county election officials have conducted demonstrations to instruct people with disabilities how to use the voting machines. On Friday, Oct. 28, secretary of the county’s Electoral Board, Margaret Luca, will be conducting an information session at the state convention of the Old Dominion Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired. To register for this event, please call the council at 1-800-424-8666, TTY 711, between 2 and 5 p.m.
For instructions on how to use the voting machines or more information about how these machines are accessible to people with disabilities, please contact Luca at 703-324-4735, TTY 711, or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb.