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February 9, 2021Advocacy Matters

U.S. Election Assistance Commission Roundtable on Accessibility Lessons Learned From the 2020 Elections

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

February 9, 2021

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U.S. Election Assistance Commission Roundtable on Accessibility Lessons Learned From the 2020 Elections

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The 2020 elections are over, but the surveys, assessments, and lessons learned on the accessibility of the elections have only just begun.

One federal agency reviewing and assessing the accessibility of our elections is the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The Election Assistance Commission was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The agency is an independent, bipartisan commission that studies elections, engages experts, and provides voluntary voting system guidance to election officials nationally. The agency also serves as a national clearinghouse on election administration. What is important for the disability community, the agency provides guidance to election officials on voting system accessibility and the accessibility of our elections in general.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has scheduled a roundtable discussion on accessibility lessons learned from the 2020 elections. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 live-streamed on the EAC’s YouTube Channel and is open to the public. The roundtable runs from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm Eastern. We have a link to the YouTube Channel at www.disabilityrightspa.org.

According to the EAC website, the roundtable discussion will take place in two parts. The first part of the meeting will include a presentation conducted by Rutgers University on “2020 Disability and Voting Accessibility Survey” conducted for the Election Assistance Commission. The second part of the meeting will bring together experts and election officials who will discuss the challenges and successes they saw during the 2020 elections with regard to voters with disabilities.

The full agenda has not yet been published but will be available on the Election Assistance Commission’s website soon.

The Election Assistance Commission has also published their 2020 report on their federal election activities, including those directed at accessible elections. The EAC hosted a 2020 Election Summit on Accessibility, a forum on accessibility and security, roundtables for election officials on best practices to assist voters with disabilities, and they have sponsored an accessibility survey that was conducted during the 2020 general election. The results of that accessibility survey will be released on February 17 during the roundtable.

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If you want a national perspective on the accessibility of our 2020 elections, I urge you to view the meeting on February 17th. It is important to conduct assessments and review the lessons learned with election officials in Pennsylvania and across the country.

We have the important links to the meeting and other Election Assistance Commission information on our website at www.disabilityrightspa.org.

 

Links and Information

Roundtable Discussion: Accessibility Lessons Learned from the 2020 Elections

Information about the U.S. Election Assistance Commission 

U.S. Election Assistance Commission 2020 Annual Report