In the United States, many of us have the right to vote in local, state, and federal elections, but in April 2021, only 27% of registered Colorado Springs voters cast a ballot in the General Municipal Election.
The right to vote has been a contentious one throughout US history, and the disability community has been a loud, constant advocate throughout. However, despite the various bills and acts designed to allow all eligible voters to cast a vote, implementation has unfortunately been and continues to be incomplete.
One of the provisions of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires polling places to have at least one voting machine that is accessible to disabled voters, but after the general election in 2020, the National Federation of the Blind polled blind and low-vision voters about their experiences voting. They found that over a quarter of those polled reported that the accessible voting machine either wasn’t set up or that poll workers were having trouble operating it. Other groups with disabilities have reported similar obstacles throughout the country: Some found it difficult or impossible to physically enter the polling place itself, while others did not receive the assistance in casting a ballot to which they are entitled.
Uncertainty about accommodations and accessibility at polling places can discourage people from exercising this right, so once again The Independence Center will open its building up as a Voter Polling and Service Center (VPSC) for this year’s elections.
What can you expect when you come to The Independence Center to vote?
The building is fully accessible, meaning that anyone can come in and utilize the space, regardless of disability. An accessible voting machine will be operational, and someone will explain how to use it, so no matter who you are you will be able to cast your vote independently and with privacy. If you’ve already filled out a ballot, there will also be a ballot drop box where it will be officially and securely deposited.
In the last general election, hundreds of people cast their votes at The Independence Center, and this essential community service will be available once again. As the home of disability civil rights in the Pikes Peak Region, the Independence Center is proud to do our part to make sure that our community is able to exercise our rights.
If you want to know more about voting at The Independence Center, transportation to and from the building, or other general questions, please call us at 719-471-8181.
Voter Service and Polling Center Hours at The IC
Accessible voting machines are available the following days:
Friday, November 4, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, November 7, 2022, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For a full list of VSPCs in El Paso County visit www.epcvotes.com
Are you looking for election information or help with navigating the voting process in Colorado Springs? Check out the following resources.
Election Information for Colorado Springs
Official Colorado Springs Elections website: https://coloradosprings.gov/voterinfo
Click here to register to vote, update your voter registration, or check your registration information in El Paso County.
Sign Vote Click Here – An excellent site with resources and information about voting and political issues for members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.
Learn about Accessible Voting in El Paso County
We partner with the El Paso County Clerk’s Office to provide accessible voting and trainings for our community members. Below are videos of Liz Olson, with ASL translation, explaining how to vote locally and answering frequently asked questions about voting and accessibility.
FAQs for Voters with Disabilities
Click here for El Paso County’s answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions about voting with disabilities.