Blind, Disabled Voters Finally Call for 'Immediate Ban' on DRE/Touch-Screen Voting!

Two Different Statements from Civil Rights Leaders Call for Discontinuation of Insecure, Unverifiable, Disenfranchising DRE/Touch-Screen Voting Technology

Both Destroy Myth of Need to Sacrifice Verifed Ballots for Accessibility...


Voters with disabilities are finally beginning to speak out against the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, often known as "touch-screen") voting systems!

After years of DRE-supporters -- and those who support the disgraced Bob Ney's Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 -- having used the canard that blind and disabled voters must use DREs to vote privately and independently, a number of leaders in the disabilities community are finally speaking up against their having been used as a wedge to force the nationwide implementation of such disenfranchising, dangerous voting technology!

Two different landmark statements have now been released. One from the Disability Law Center in Massachusetts and another, released today to The BRAD BLOG in advance of Congressional hearings tomorrow. The latter has been signed, so far, by more than 20 blind and disabled voters rights advocates and leaders.

That statement also calls for "an immediate ban" on DRE voting systems. And like the release from the Disability Law Center, also crushes the long-overused and abused myth that such unsecure, disenfranchising, failed technology is required for disabled access to private, independent voting.

It just ain't so. There are several available, accessible options for such voters. Options which don't sacrifice our democracy in the bargain.

Here are just two key snippets from each of the statements...

"Electronic ballot systems such as DRE machines, are neither fully accessible nor secure and accurate methods of recording, tallying, and reporting votes ... [They] are inappropriate for use, because these systems make it impossible for voters to verify that their votes will be counted as cast."
-- From a statement released today by more than 20 Disabled Voter Advocates

"We must debunk the myth that we have to choose between accessible voting and verifiable voting. Democracy requires that we have both."
-- Stanley J. Eicher, Exec. Dir. of the Disability Law Center in recent statement commending MA for allowing non-DRE ballot marking devices for use by disabled voters.

Up until now, largely the only voices who have been welcomed into this debate on Capitol Hill are groups like the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) and the American Association of Disabled People (AAPD) both of whom have received huge "donations" from voting machine companies such as Diebold ($1 million to NFB, at least $16,000 to Jim Dickson's AAPD).

It would be nice if some of the uncompromised voices opposed to the insane DREs, and in favor of a ban on same, were invited to speak to Congress who is currently holding a series of hearings to discuss Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform bill (HR811). That bill, though offering a number of much needed improvements to the system, falls short of the most important one: Banning DRE/touch-screen voting once and for all!

And sadly, many of the normally "good guy" groups such as People for the American Way, Common Cause, MoveOn and others are supporting the bill despite the known and huge loopholes within it. That must change. Hopefully today's statement from the disabled groups, who have been used by PFAW and the others as reasons why DRE voting must be allowed to continue, will make a big difference in this most important battle: The battle for our democracy.

More info on concerns about the Holt bill and action points you can take right now on this debate are available at


Brad Friedman is an investigative journalist, blogger and the proprietor of The BRAD BLOG, perhaps the nation's premier journalistic authority on issues related to American Election Integrity.