Washington County Elections Division Receives National Award
Sponsored by: Assessment and Taxation Department
The Washington County Elections Division was recently recognized by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) for their "Outstanding Efforts in Voter Accessibility." Staff members from the Elections Division were presented with the award by Oregon's Secretary of State, Kate Brown, and Ross Miller, Nevada's Secretary of State and current President of NASS. The award is in recognition of Washington County's assistance in piloting the use of electronic tablet technology to assist voters with disabilities.
In November of 2011, Washington County received two Apple iPads from the State that were used during the special primary election for Oregon's 1st Congressional District. At the time, the State was exploring replacement options for outdated technology previously utilized by disabled voters. Washington County stepped up and agreed to participate in the pilot program.
Since then, the iPads continue to be helpful to some local voters with physical challenges. During the election season, part-time, temporary staff visit care facilities to introduce the tablet option and assist those who would like to use them.
The iPads provide an additional tool for the County's robust Voter Assistance Program which offers several services for seniors and those with mobility challenges. The program includes:
- Assistance for seniors and rehab patients at care facilities,
- An adapted voting station in the Elections office for voters with special needs,
- Large Print Ballots for voters with visual difficulties, and
- Alternate Format Ballots which are emailed to voters with assistive technology.
The program goal is to provide the opportunity for all citizens to vote as privately and independently as possible. Over the past five years, the program has helped an average of 500 people in every election.
Media Contact:John Montoya, Administrative Specialist