Welcome to the website of Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”), a new independent, nonprofit organization established to be the successor entity to Connecticut’s Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities which was abolished by Connecticut law as of June 30, 2017. We are a statewide organization largely funded by federal entities and authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, Rehabilitation Act and Social Security Act. DRCT opened its doors on July 1, 2017 and is hoping to hear from you!!
NOVEMBER 7, 2017 is Election Day! - VOTE
November 7, 2017 is Election Day in Connecticut and across the country. In Connecticut, we are voting for mostly municipal officials who run our local governments. These offices are critically important because these officials determine many aspects of town government that apply to you from the town budget and taxes you pay, to the education of the town's young population and the local laws governing local issues such as zoning and land use.
Voters with disabilities have the right to vote independently and privately at their local polling places. They cannot be denied the right to vote and must have access to the polls and Election Day Registration locations. Connecticut has two voting systems and voters with disabilities may use either system.
DRCT NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Connecticut offers two methods of voting at the polling place. One way is via the manual ballot; the other method, new in 2016, is via a tablet. Anyone, with or without a disability, may vote by either method – it’s up to you! Interested in helping DRCT? Please consider using the Tablet Ballot Marking System and letting us know about you experience. We will take all the results and use them to improve training for Registrars of Voters and to make suggestions to improve the tablet system. If you are interested, please complete the IVS Survey and return it to Disability Rights Connecticut. The Survey is attached below:
How does the manual ballot-marking system work?
Each voter is given a paper ballot with the names of candidates (and, sometimes, referendum questions), along with a marker for filling in the circles next to your choices. Once you complete the ballot, you deposit it into the optical scan tabulator, which counts the votes.
How do I use the tablet voting system?
The tablet system is a ballot-marking device that replaces the old phone/fax technology. The new technology includes a tablet and a keypad with head phones. You may vote using the touch screen on the tablet, or by using the connected audio system on the key pad. The audio system, which includes head phones, works by a series of cues requiring you to push different buttons on the key pad to make your choices. Both the touchscreen and the audio provide you with the opportunity to review and revise your choices. After you are done voting (by either touchscreen or key pad), a printer produces a paper ballot that reflects your choices. The voter then feeds the ballot through the same tabulator that counts the ballots that were manually completed.
The audio component may be preferable for people with visual disabilities; people who prefer audio cues, including individuals who have difficulty reading; and people with learning disabilities.
Is there a way to practice using this technology from home before Election Day?
The audio component is available for practice on the manufacturer’s demonstration phone number. To practice, dial 866-494-8683. When prompted, tap in the ballot access code of 0275. (On Election Day, that step is actually performed by a poll worker at the polling place.) You then proceed to vote by audio cues on a mock ballot.
Please note that you must go to the polling place to vote on Election Day. You cannot cast your actual ballot at home.
DRCT’s mission is to advocate, educate, investigate and pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to advance and protect the civil rights of individuals with disabilities to participate equally and fully in all facets of community life in Connecticut.
Please take a few minutes to look at our website, meet our staff, familiarize yourselves with our mission and programs, and provide input for DRCT’s 2018 priorities. We are a new organization and parts of the website are still being developed. Please check back periodically (or more often) to see the changes, download information and read about upcoming events.