FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Category: 
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

MEDIA ADVISORY

Congressman Holt to Address Blind Americans on Accessible Voting

Blind Representatives from Every State in the Country to Attend Meeting

Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) will address over 500 blind Americans, who have traveled to Washington, D.C. from every state in the country, on Monday, January 29, at 5 p.m.  Rep. Holt will discuss the controversy over electronic voting machines and how Congress plans to address security concerns while ensuring continued ballot accessibility for the blind.  The gathering will take place in the Columbia Room of the Holiday Inn Capitol, located at 550 C. Street Southwest, Washington, D.C. 

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) represented a historic gain for blind voters because the newer voting technologies mandated by that law allow blind people to vote privately and independently using audio interfaces and keypads.  Since the adoption of this technology, however, questions have arisen about the security, reliability, and accuracy of the new voting machines, and Representative Holt is a leading proponent of the use of measures that allow voters to verify that their ballots are recorded correctly.  The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act, introduced by Representative Holt, is a comprehensive measure intended to address both security and accessibility concerns.  Rep. Holt will explain his proposal to blind Americans and continue a dialogue with the blind about how to improve the voting process.

The Monday gathering kicks off the annual “Washington Seminar” conducted by the National Federation of the Blind.  In the days following this initial meeting, blind Americans will visit their representatives and senators on Capitol Hill to educate the legislators on the three legislative priorities of blind Americans.

For more information or to attend one of the meetings between blind constituents and their representatives or senators, contact John Paré, Director of Public Relations for the National Federation of the Blind, at (410) 913-3912, or e-mail him at jpare@nfb.org.