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November 3rd, 2009 By UC New Media Bureau | News | Posted In: 2009 Election

A Slow Day for E-Slate


Each Hamilton County polling location has a $40,000 machine on hand to make voting handicapped-accessible, even though poll volunteers say the machines rarely see use.

“In the last three elections, we’ve had about three people using it,” says poll volunteer and District 6 Deputy Presiding Judge Tom Feldhaus.

The five-year poll worker explained that most voters with disabilities prefer a more traditional voting method.

Rather than using the E-Slate accessible voting machines, they simply fill out paper ballots at tables protected by privacy screens. District 6 presiding judge and 18-year poll veteran Tammy Fleming adds that voters who are unable to enter the building can use curbside voting services with the paper ballots.

Feldhaus explains that the voting machines fulfill a national mandate, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And while the E-Slate machines might sit idle for much of voting day, he says they’re not unnoticed.

“People do appreciate it even if they don’t use it,” he says.

Contributor Harrison Kreimer reports for the NMB, a collaborative local news bureau based at the University of Cincinnati. Learn more at ucjournalism.org.

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