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posted: 3/18/2014 3:50 PM

Get Out the Vote! Notice of Voter Education Event

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Heidi Cardenas, LCCIL Community Outreach Advocate

Participating in the election process is one of our greatest civic duties. Your vote is essential for your voice to be heard.

You're invited to Lake County Center for Independent Living's Voter Education and Registration event.

The event will be April 11, 2014 2:00 p.m. at our offices at 377 N. Seymour Avenue in Mundelein.

LCCIL is proud to present County Clerk Willard Helander who will break down the process and introduce the many ways to vote.

Accessible voting equipment will be demonstrated for people with disabilities who require alternative means to cast their ballots. Not registered to vote? Staff will be on hand to assist you to register and be ready to vote in the 2014 General Election.

Please RSVP to Kaja by April 4th if you'll be attending:

Phone 847-949-4440 or Email kaja@lccil.org

You're Rights and the Laws that Protect You

Did you know? According to the Center for an Accessible Society:

• 33.7 million Americans of voting age are people with disabilities.

• 20,000 polling places across the nation are physically inaccessible.

• 10 million more people would have voted in the last election if accommodations had been met.

Imagine how things would be different if all 33.7 million individuals with disabilities voted in the 2014 election.

What message would that send to our elected officials?

Perhaps social services and community supports would be fully funded.

Maybe affordable and accessible housing would top the list of legislative priorities.

Could public transportation finally be fully recognized as essential to the transit system in our community?

The message we would send is that people with disabilities have power and our collective voice will be heard. The first act in fulfilling our civic duty is to vote for the decision makers. Know who is running, what they stand for, and how they will act on issues that affect our lives. Make an informed decision and then cast your vote.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all polling places to be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Yet, 20,000 polling places across the country are still inaccessible. How can we exercise our right to vote if we can't get in the door or read the ballot?

The first line of defense is to know your rights. There are federal laws that address specific concerns important to voters who have disabilities. Some of these laws include: the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Provisions:

There must be at least one accessible voting system in each polling place.

The same privacy and independence to vote must be given to people with disabilities that are available to those who do not have disabilities.

Registration forms, ballots, and other materials must be available in alternate formats.

Polling places must be accessible by individuals with disabilities and offered in integrated settings or alternate means of casting a vote on Election Day.

People with disabilities must be provided reasonable modifications and auxiliary aids (i.e. registration forms/ballots in large print or Braille, ramps and accessible parking spaces, accessible voting equipment, and assistance as needed at the polling place).

All State-funded programs that offer services to persons with disabilities must provide assistance to complete voter registration forms and transmit forms to the appropriate State official.

The second line of defense is to act when your rights are violated.

If you experience any physical or attitudinal barriers when exercising your right to vote, contact LCCIL for assistance.

We are ready to help you advocate for your rights and want to ensure your voice is heard!

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