Persons with disabilities who may need assistance with voting in the November General Election can get assistance Monday.
The Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living and the Morgan County Clerk’s office is sponsoring a Disability Voter’s event. On Monday persons with disabilities can vote and if needed, obtain assistance with the process at the Morgan County Courthouse.
Colton Pettyjohn, a Consumer Advocate with JACIL says a grant from the Statewide Independent Living Council helped JACIL in providing the assistance. Pettyjohn says the goal of the event is to assist people with disabilities in embracing their right to help shape public policy.
“People with disabilities may face hardships with either communication access, or say someone with a visual impairment or who is blind and can’t read the ballot. We always want to make sure that the people we serve at JACIL are getting equal access to everything.
We thought that this year, especially with it being the general election,and presidential election year, we decided to hold two Voter Disability Days this year to get people with disabilities more access.”
PettyJohn says fighting the lines at polling places can be a little overwhelming for some of JACIL’s consumers, and the voter disability day can help them take the stress out of casting their vote.
Pettyjohn says there will be multiple forms of assistance for varying types of disability.
“ We have an American Sign Language interpreter scheduled to be there for the full event, to provide communication access and to put it into simpler language for our deaf and hard of hearing consumers if they need it. As well as we are going to have an advocate present, either myself or one of our other advocates, will be available for people with physical disabilities to maybe help them to get into the Polling Place inside the courthouse if they need help. Or maybe they have a cognitive disability, a developmental disability or a learning disability and they need someone to put things into simpler language for them, we can do that as well.”
The Disability Voter’s event will be held at the Morgan County Courthouse Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.
Pettyjohn says anyone with a disability who is not yet registered to vote, can still do so during the event. He says Monday will still be in the grace period allowing people to register and vote on the same day, and JACIL Consumer Advocates will assist with the process as well.
Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggoner has asked that anyone who wants to both register and vote during the event, to please contact Pettyjohn ahead of time so the Clerk’s Office can have a count of how many need this service.
To sign up to register to vote, or for questions about the event, Colton Pettyjohn at (217) 245-8371 or by email at colton@JACIL.org