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Voting & People with Disabilities Margaret Jakobson San Diego Regional Office PAI.

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Presentation on theme: "Voting & People with Disabilities Margaret Jakobson San Diego Regional Office PAI."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voting & People with Disabilities Margaret Jakobson San Diego Regional Office PAI

2 Help America Vote Act HAVA Improves Voting Access for People with Disabilities by: –Establishing a Voting P & A –Makes Accessibility Grants Available for States & Local Governments to Improve Access to Polling Places –Creates Minimum Standards for Voting Systems –Requires Participation by People with Disabilities in creating the State Plan for Compliance with HAVA –Provides funds for research on Accessible technology

3 HAVA (cont.) Establishes the Elections Assistance Commission Provides funds to states to improve election administration & replace punch card & lever style voting systems Creates minimum standards for states in regard to election administration Establishes state administrative procedures for voting complaints

4 Other HAVA Provisions Provisional voting system Voting information at polling places Statewide voter registration list Verification of voter registration information Mail registration Voter, election official and poll worker education

5 Right to Vote in a Facility Automatic Removal of Right to Vote –NGI –Incompetetent to stand trial –MDSO –Mentally disordered prisoners Right to vote is restored when the individual is discharged from the facility

6 Who Can Still Vote While in a Facility Sexually violent predators Mentally disordered offenders NGI’s whose commitment has been extended Incompetent to stand trial because of a developmental disability Incompetent to stand trial for a misdemeanor offense

7 Conservatees Right to Vote LPS and Probate conservatees cannot vote ONLY if the court finds the person is not capable of completing an affidavit When the conservatorship ends, the court must notify the registrar that the right has been restored If there is a jury trial, the jury must make the decision that the person cannot vote by unanimous verdict

8 National Voter Registration Act of 1993 Requires voter registration services be provided whenever mental health services are provided DMH must provide voter registration information even if the DMH believes the person does not meet registration requirements DMH must obtain a resident’s signature on a voter application/declination form

9 Voter Registration Information US Citizen Resident of CA 18 years old as of the next election Not a prisoner or on parole Not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register to vote

10 When Must a Person Register For the first time Move Change of name Change of political party affiliation 15 days before an election

11 How to Register Obtain a voter registration card from the Secretary of State, county registrar, at places like libraries, PAI, post offices, DMV, DMH

12 Absentee Ballots Complete the form on the Sample Ballot or contact the county registrar for assistance The form must be completed 7 days before the election A person can apply for permanent absentee voter status –The right to vote permanently absentee is lost if each election is not voted in –In that case a person will need to re-apply for permanent absentee voter status

13 Access for People with Disabilities Polling places are to be accessible and HAVA requires that equipment be accessible Audio cassette version of the Voter Information Guide is available Easy Reader Voting Guide is available to help a person with literacy/language/cognitive concerns to understand voting information –It is available in different languages –But is not yet available in alternative formats

14 Where to Get Information Secretary of State’s website: Easy Voter Guide: Protection and Advocacy, Inc.: ca.org or www.pai- ca.org


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