Lee County organization assists disabled citizens at the ballot box

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

The Lee Association for Remarkable Citizens has created a program called Our Voices Together to assist voters with disabilities in casting their ballots.

For the last three years, LARC has educated the people it serves on their rights as voters,
helping them get in touch with local politicians to talk about issues important to them and answering questions about the voting process. In 2019, the organization even worked alongside the Lee County Elections Office to cast a mock ballot.

As many prepare to vote in the general election, LARC says it’s there to help its members out. Sometimes the hardest part for disabled voters is understanding the language on the ballot and filling in the circles—just navigating the voting machines themselves can be difficult.

Danny Lawley is one LARC member whose life support coach is there to help make sure his vote is cast correctly.

“I can vote for anybody I want to vote,” Lawley said. “Cindy helps me vote by filling out the paperwork and shows me what to vote.”

Lawley says LARC helped him cast his first ballot more than 30 years ago.

“When they get their ballots in the mail, we will review their ballots with them,” said Pamela Jenkins, LARC director of community support. “If they can’t read we will read the questions to them and ask them who they’re choosing to vote for, which amendment they’re choosing to vote for.”

LARC is hosting a Tuesday Zoom call with Southwest Florida politicians to encourage its members to get out and vote.

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