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CA Counties Sued for Lack of Voting Access

The state of California on Monday sued two counties in central California, saying that lengthy investigations showed that most polling sites still had access violations. In Kern County, one of the two counties sued, 83 of the county's estimated 146 polling sites were surveyed for accessibility issues during the November 2004 election. The suit seeks a court order forcing both Santa Cruz County and Kern County to comply with federal and state voting access laws.
"The lawsuits were filed only after exhaustive discussions over the last three years failed to result in an agreement," said CA Attorney General Bill Lockyer in a statement. Read the press release from Lockyer's office on the suits

Yesterday, The Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors considered what they said was a $2.3 million plan to update the county's voting system in order to bring it into compliance with the law-- with voting technology from Sequoia Voting Systems. "The plan is to place one-touch screen machines that accommodate voters with disabilities -- by using audio for the blind or a sip-and-puff tool that enables quadriplegics to cast a ballot, for example -- in each precinct while also using a new paper ballot for other voters," said the Santa Cruz Sentinel (read County supervisors to consider purchase of new voting system).

And Sacramento now has new AutoMARK terminals which satisfy access requirements of the Help America Vote act -- and also" allow voters to change votes, correct errors, and verify ballot selections. It even notifies the voter if they over vote," according to a story on CBS13 yesterday.