Vote by mail impacts on voters with disabilities — Mitigation — Advisory committee, plan.
(1) The legislature finds that the elimination of polling places resulting from the transition to vote by mail creates barriers that restrict the ability of many voters with disabilities from achieving the independence and privacy in voting provided by the accessible voting devices required under the help America vote act. Counties must take appropriate steps to mitigate these impacts and to address the obligation to provide voters with disabilities an equal opportunity to vote independently and privately, to the extent that this can be achieved without incurring undue administrative and financial burden.
(2) Each county shall establish and maintain an advisory committee that includes persons with diverse disabilities and persons with expertise in providing accommodations for persons with disabilities. The committee shall assist election officials in developing a plan to identify and implement changes to improve the accessibility of elections for voters with disabilities. The plan shall include recommendations for the following:
(a) The number of voting centers that will be maintained in order to ensure that people with disabilities have reasonable access to accessible voting devices, and a written explanation for how the determination was made;
(b) The locations of ballot drop-off facilities, voting centers, and other election-related functions necessary to maximize accessibility to persons with disabilities;
(c) Outreach to voters with disabilities on the availability of disability accommodation, including in-person disability access voting;
(d) Transportation of voting devices to locations convenient for voters with disabilities in order to ensure reasonable access for voters with disabilities; and
(e) Implementation of the provisions of the help America vote act related to persons with disabilities.
Counties must update the plan at least annually. The election review staff of the secretary of state shall review and evaluate the plan in conformance with the review procedure identified in RCW 29A.04.570.
(3) Counties may form a joint advisory committee to develop the plan identified in subsection (2) of this section if no more than one of the participating counties has a population greater than seventy thousand.
[2011 c 10 § 44; 2010 c 215 § 5; 2006 c 207 § 7. Formerly RCW 29A.46.260.]
| Notice to registered poll voters -- Elections by mail -- 2011 c 10: See note following RCW 29A.04.008.|
Findings -- 2010 c 215: See note following RCW 50.40.071.