Fresno County election officials focusing on accessibility and inclusivity

Brittany Jacob Image
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Fresno Co. election officials focusing on accessibility, inclusivity
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Accessibility and inclusivity are the goals for Fresno County election officials.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- June 7 primary elections in California are around the corner, and Fresno County is highlighting flexible and convenient options for voters.

The California Voters Choice Act modernizes elections by providing more convenience and flexibility to voters.

This election model -- which has been in Fresno County for at least four elections now -- allows voters to choose how, when, and where to cast their ballot.

This is a big deal for those with disabilities like Sarah Harris, who lost her sight 20 years after a car accident.

Harris works with the local organization "Resources for Independence," serving people with disabilities in the Central Valley.

She says expanded accessibility is a big deal for voters who want to vote but have a condition or impairment.

Harris said, "Us having that ability, to be able to have different opportunities, different choices to mark our ballots on our own without that assistance is absolutely dynamic."

The help comes from a tablet-like device that can now be found at voting centers across Fresno County.

Fresno County Clerk James Kus says the Voters Choice Act, which passed in 2016, helped pay for the devices.

Kus said they have boosted turnout in statewide elections.

He said, "Instead of helping just really one classification of disability, which we had in the past, we can now help with motor skills and visual difficulties. We can do language assistance on that device. Just a lot of assistance we can provide there."

Deputy Secretary of State Lakenya Jordan was in Fresno Monday to help promote the devices and all of the options voters have available to them. She said Fresno County has a lower turnout than other parts of the state.

Jordan said, "No one can make you vote, but we want to make sure that everyone knows their vote is valued."

Every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail.

Plus, voters can cast a ballot at any vote center within their county or in one of the secure ballot drop-off locations throughout the county.

For more information about the June 7 elections and voter options, click here.