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Telecare offers rides to disabled voters

The FREED Center for Independent Living and Gold Country Telecare have joined forces to help residents with disabilities to vote in Tuesday’s election.

FREED and Telecare, both not-for-profit organizations, often serve the same customers, but this is the first time the two groups have partnered.

“This is a new collaboration,” said Susan Healy-Harman, Telecare director. Her sentiments were echoed by Ana Acton of FREED.



About 35 percent of people with disabilities vote, according to Acton. Around one in 15 disabled adults said they lack the transportation needed to vote, according to a survey by the National Organization of Disabilities.

“We want to ensure that a lack of transportation is not a barrier to voting for people with disabilities in Nevada County,” Healy-Harman said.




Rides to polling places are offered free of charge to qualified residents by the new FREED-Telecare program. Appointments for the door-to-door service must be made at least one day in advance. It can be arranged by calling FREED at 272-1732 or Telecare at 272-1710.

“We’ve had a couple calls,” Healy-Harman said of demands for the voting transportation services so far. She thinks use will increase as Election Day nears.

Diebold Touchscreen (TSx) systems, required by the Help America Vote Act in part to aid disabled voters, have been installed at the Elections Office for early voting. Many disabled voters in Nevada County also use absentee ballots.

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To reach Staff Writer Josh Singer, e-mail joshs@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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