The Illinois State Board of Elections has announced the launch of a remote accessible vote-by-mail system for the upcoming primary.
The system allows the blind, deafblind and some other voters with disabilities to vote-by-mail – privately and independently – just as all other Illinois voters can. It allows them to securely receive and mark their ballots electronically at home, instead of forcing them to rely on help from others or travel to vote at polling places.
The new SBE system will allow such voters to use their own screen reader technology, which voices digital content or displays it on a Braille device, to mark their ballots at home. This system will also help voters who, for instance, have manual disabilities that prevent them from marking paper ballots with writing utensils.
The launch of the new system is the result of a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and Equip for Equality with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The system launch will be a cost-free measure for Illinois election authorities to come into compliance with a recently signed state law mandating election authorities to provide voters with disabilities with an accessible vote-by-mail option ahead of the November general election.
The SBE has established an Ombudsperson to help answer questions or facilitate problems encountered by persons with disabilities attempting to vote in the June 2022 Illinois Primary Election. That Ombudsperson is Jordan Andrew, Deputy General Counsel & ADA Coordinator, who can be reached at email@example.com and phone 217-782-4003.