Accessible Voting in San Juan County

Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:38 am by

SJC Audi­tor Milene Hen­ley shares this notice…

Milene Henley - Contributed photo

Milene Henley - Contributed photo

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

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Categories: Government

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