Officials improve access for voters with disabilities

Capital News Service
LANSING – Election officials say they are striving to make polling places more accessible to voters with disabilities. Meanwhile, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that nationally, 45 percent of polling places have impediments, such as lack of ramps. Justin Roebuck, elections coordinator at the Ottawa County Clerk’s office, said, “It’s very important that we are completely accommodating our voters and have equal opportunity.”
Roebuck said polling places in his county provide lowered tables and ramps for wheelchairs. “There is nothing in law that would restrict anyone who is disabled from voting,” Roebuck said, “We never make a judgment on who is capable of making voting choices.”
Roebuck said the Help America Vote Act of 2002 improved polling places’ standards by requiring better physical access and technology to disabled voters. His office provides devices to assist voters with impaired vision and hearing that reads text through headphones or allows them to use a touch-screen or buttons to make selections in secret.

Fewer government jobs means higher workload for those remaining

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan’s government employment is the second lowest in the nation, a new report says. A poll by Gallup Inc., a polling consulting company, shows that 12.2 percent of the Michigan workforce holds federal, state or local government jobs. Pennsylvania has the lowest proportion, 12.1 percent. The report noted that 64 percent of Americans say that they fear “big government” more then “big business” or “big labor”. John DiTizio, director of labor relations at Michigan Association of Governmental Employees, said he is not surprise by the poll results.