Abilities in Motion invites the public to visit their Center for Independent Living at 210 N. 5th St. in Reading to try Berks County’s new, accessible voting machine.
On Tuesday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Office of County Elections Services for Berks County will provide demonstrations of how to use the new, accessible voting machines. The event occurs during National Disability Voter Registration Week, July 15-19, a week of advocacy meant to encourage participation of voters with disabilities in political elections.
According to the American Association of People with Disabilities website, voters with disabilities “account for more than 35 million voters…approximately one sixth of the total electorate.” However, in the November 2016 election, only 16 million people with disabilities voted.
At the event on Tuesday, visitors will be able to register to vote, update their voter registration, try the new accessible voting machine, and obtain a voter absentee ballot application. There will also be light refreshments.
Voters with disabilities have the right to vote privately and independently, have an accessible polling place and accessible voting machines, seek assistance from workers at the polling place who have been trained to use the accessible voting machines, and bring someone to help them vote.
Abilities in Motion is Berks County ‘s Center for Independent Living offering support services, education, and advocacy for over 3,700 individuals with disabilities in 40 counties in the state.
AIM’s purpose is reflected in the Rehabilitation Act, which states that “disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, and enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society.”