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The Cattaraugus County Board of Elections would like to announce that blind or disabled voters may request an accessible absentee ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election on the New York State Board of Elections website.

The New York State Board of Elections, for the November 3, 2020 elections, do hereby adopt the following instructions to county boards of elections:

  1. Boards of Elections shall provide by email an “accessible PDF ballot” to any voter who provides a declaration that they are blind or otherwise disabled such that they would be prevented from independently completing a paper absentee ballot without travelling to a board of elections, early voting site or poll site on election day.
  2. Any voter seeking an accessible PDF ballot shall request such a ballot on or before the seventh day before the November 3, 2020 primary and special election. The declaration requesting such ballot shall be made under penalty of perjury and shall attest that the applicant has a disability, without specifying same, and thereby requires the accessible PDF ballot. A form of such declaration (attached) shall be available on the website of the New York State Board of Elections in an accessible format.
  3. The declaration may be submitted to the voter’s board of elections by mail, email or hand delivery.
  4. Upon receipt of the request, the board of elections will generate a screen readable ballot (readable by Job Access with Speech “JAWS” software) which shall include insertion of tags and fillable objects so that it can be completed independently and privately by the requesting individual using standard, accessible technology, namely a screen reader program. The accessible ballot PDF shall meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards for a PDF.
  5. The ballot will be provided with accessible instructions on how to return the ballot – including instructions to place the ballot in an envelope and sign the back of the envelope. A postage paid envelope and oath envelope will be provided to the voter by mail and, in addition, an envelope template that can be printed shall be provided by email. To the extent practicable the accessible PDF ballot and electronically provided envelopes shall be in the same general form as provided to UOCAVA voters.
  6. Upon completion of the ballot the voter shall return the printed accessible PDF ballot using the United States postal service or hand delivery to the board of elections.
  7. Any ballot requested, completed and returned pursuant to this method shall be canvassed in accordance with laws. All relevant laws and procedures related to securing the secrecy of the vote at all stages shall be followed.

Request an Accessible Absentee Ballot

To request a New York Accessible Electronic Absentee Ballot Application either:

Questions about Absentee Ballots?

Visit the New York State Board of Elections Absentee Voting page.

Contact the Cattaraugus County Board of Elections

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