Counties work to make voting accessible for disabled residents

TEXARKANA, Texas-- As midterm elections approach, Bowie and Miller counties are preparing to make casting a ballot accesible to disabled voters.

"Disabled voters can do a ballot by mail," said Bowie County Elections Administrator Pat McCoy. "They can contact us to get an application and we can mail that to them."

McCoy said those who wish to vote at a polling station will find handicap-accessible buildings and an express vote machine.

"If the screen needs to be magnified, we can do that. If they need it read aloud to them, we have that capability for them," McCoy said.

Bowie County also has curbside voting available, where the express machine is brought to the person's car.

Miller County Election Administrator, Linda Crawford said she and the deputy coordinator check the American with Disabilities Act yearly for guidance.

"ADA requires that we have signs for handicap ramps at eye level," Crawford said. "We make sure that restrooms have handicap accommodations as well."

Crawford said at the two polling places in Miller County that are not fully accommodating for people with physical handicaps have a large sign at the entrance notifying vote casters. The signs can be seen from the parking lot, she said.

"We put voters with disabilities towards the front of the line as an accommodation as well," Crawford said.

Additionally, if a door does not have an automatic opening, the polling place will typically station someone at the door to help voters enter the building.

To learn more about accommodations for voters who are disabled, Miller County residents can contact the County Clerk's Office at 870-774-1301. Bowie County residents can call McCoy at 903-628-6810.

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