Lee County Elections is offering a new way for those with disabilities to get a vote-by-mail ballot via an online delivery system.
If you are disabled and would like an electronic ballot, you can call the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office or go to the website and request one. Lee County Elections will then send you a secure link that will have a ballot and a voter certificate, both of which will need to be printed out and physically mailed in.
Angela Katz with the Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens says technology still poses problems for many people with disabilities
“Technology, in general, is an overarching concern in this population; not everyone has access to technology,” Katz said. “Even if they’re using a smartphone, do they have access to a printer, and who’s going to help them with that? You have the privacy, you have the technology.”
Katz says the change is a step in the right direction toward making voting more accessible, but she worries not everyone has access to technology and that people with disabilities will still need someone to help them through this process, which could raise privacy concerns that extend to anyone that needs another person help them with their ballot. She thinks there’s a better way to make voting easier and safer for people who are disabled.
“I think part of the solution would be actually going into centers like LARC or visiting agencies and talking with the voters and what are their needs,” Katz said. “And maybe that could help simplify because if it’s not something that’s impacting you, then maybe we’re just… we think that we have a solution, but it really isn’t making sense to the individuals on the user end of the process.”
An eligible voter may sign up for the online ballot delivery service by calling the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office at (239) 533-8683, or visiting the Lee County Elections website and using the Vote-by-Mail request portal.