Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman has convened the "Voter Accessibility, Independence and Privacy Task Force" to examine election-related issues facing the Disability Community in Colorado.

"Disability community leaders are primarily concerned with ensuring that every polling location is accessible to all voters, and that the voting equipment used in our elections enables every voter to vote privately and independently," Coffman said. "I have formed this task force so that their concerns are heard and addressed."

In its initial monthly meetings, the task force will focus on developing a fair and consistent policy to ensure that every polling location across the state is accessible to all voters -- as required by federal law.

"Our goal is to ensure that Colorado is 100 percent compliant with accessibility laws for the 2008 election," Coffman said.

Task force members will also serve in an advisory capacity to Coffman on any elections issues before the General Assembly, and will assist the Secretary in examining the potential impact of such issues on people with disabilities.

"People with disabilities represent some of the most vulnerable voters among us," said Faith Gross, VOTE! Program Coordinator for the Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People. "It is critical that public officials consider their needs when drafting legislation or creating policy. We appreciate Secretary Coffman's commitment to the Disability Community and we look forward to a productive working relationship."

The task force members are:

  • David Bolin, Executive Director, Center for People with Disabilities
  • Barbara Boyer, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind of Colorado
  • Bruce Gogan, Center for People with Disabilities
  • Faith Gross, VOTE! Program Coordinator, The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People
  • Sheila Hicks, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
  • Scott LaBarre, President, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
  • Diane McGeorge, Board Member, National Federation of the Blind of Colorado
  • Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
  • Terrance Turner, Executive CO-Director, Atlantis Community Inc.
  • Patricia Yeager, University of Northern Colorado, Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program