Are Feds off-target in disabled ballot probe?

From the CT Post:  Feds probing how Connecticut handles disabled voters ballots <read>

Federal authorities are investigating possible privacy and disability act violations in the way Connecticut’s towns and cities require handicapped Americans to vote in referendum elections…
It advises them [registrars] a complaint was filed contending violations of federal civil rights laws and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Specifically, the allegation charge that voting by paper ballots, which are then segregated and hand-counted, violates privacy and secrecy requirements that are afforded non-disabled voters.

If the article is correct, the Feds do not really understand the IVS machine we use in State and Federal Elections.  The IVS creates a unique paper ballot that cannot be scanned. It is an arduous process that would mainly serve voters that are blind and does not serve them well.   It is theoretically possible that the paper would not be seen between printing and deposit in the ballot box. Yet, it must be segregated and hand counted at the end of the night.  It is not normally secret, since very few voters use the system.  My guess is that in an average State or Federal election, in less than 5% of polling places does even a single voter use the system –  so every polling place official knows who voted on the machine and how they voted – and if there is a recanvass, so could anyone in the polling palace at the time the IVS was uses. In our opinion, the IVS is a disservice to those with disabilities.

Most voters who try the system once, never try again.  Officials hate setting it up and are nervous that someone will want to use it, which will require their assistance to set-up for the voter.  Last November my co-worker noticed a label on the IVS in our polling. The dialing instructions had a different code than our polling place.  It took her several phone calls to customer service and maybe 45 minutes work to get it functioning.

BUT this suit is about Referendums where the IVS system generally is not used.  The voter uses a regular ballot. It is known by whomever assists them, yet not counted separately. They can have almost anyone of their choice assist them, including polling place officials. It is actually more confidential than the IVS in practice, since only one or two people know how a particular voter voted.

Both the IVS and the referendum systems, for different reasons, are a disservice to voters with disabilities.  Yet the gist of the probe, if the article is correct, is incorrectly aimed at referendums and would be more appropriately aimed at State and Federal elections. Perhaps both should be probed for different reasons.


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