For voters with disabilities, voting privately and independently can be a challenge. In the days of poll sites, polling places had accessible voting units (AVUs) to help those voters. With the transition to vote-by-mail, voting became easier for some disabled voters, because it removed the need to get to a poll site. For others, it represented a loss, as they were no longer able to vote, even at home, without the assistance of others.
An accessible voting unit is still available. The San Juan County Elections Office has an AVU that is set up and available for use from 18 days before Election Day, through Election Day. For voters with mobility impairments, the voting machine offers a choice of large, easy to use dials; tactile input devices (“jelly switches”); or “sip and puff” technology. (To use the “sip and puff” technology, voters must bring your own equipment.) Sight-impaired voters can listen to a recording of the printed ballot, then cast their ballots privately and independently.
The AVU in San Juan County is located at the Elections Office, 55nd Street, Friday Harbor.
If you would like more information about using the AVU, please call or email the Elections Office at (360) 378-3357 or email@example.com.