Voters with disabilities have options in the polling place

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dear Editor,

Attention voters in Selma and Dallas County with disabilities before you cast your vote in the upcoming runoff and municipal elections, get to know your candidate and make sure he or she has supported the Americans with Disabilities Act and make sure they consider you an equal in society.

Organizations serving the disabled, beware of politicians giving donations during election times and making promises they don&8217;t plan on keeping. Study them and research the facts about them before giving them a commitment of support.

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There are many of our local, state and national candidates that have cut a lot of programs that assist people with disabilities and many that do not consider senior citizens and people with disabilities an important target group to even want to be seen in the same room with you. So before you give them your vote make sure they are out to serve you.

I also encourage you to use the voting equipment for the handicapped if you have a disability, and if your poll does not have a machine accessible for you, I suggest you report them to the probate judges office and then to the secretary of state&8217;s office, then to the Justice Department.

The ADA says all handicapped people should be given equal access to all polling places. If you need contact info visit and go to the links section. We have links to all the above mentioned agencies on our website.

Don&8217;t let any one push you around or try to make you feel inferior to them because you ask for the accessible equipment or try to tell you how much it costs to operate the equipment if you use it. The Help America Vote Act which was passed in 2002 entitles people with special needs the extra assistance to vote.

The county has budgeted money for the machines and the law is out there to support people with handicaps, so use it if you need the accommodation.

Rise up Selma and continue the right to vote. People were beaten who tried to get the right to vote in Selma in 1965.

Do not let their efforts go unrecognized by being to lazy to go out to vote. Stand up for yourself if you have a disability and I also encourage any one without a disability to assist some one who they know who has a disability to be able to vote independently and for who they want to vote for.

William H. Bowman