Disabled Voters Shun Lever Machines

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Residents watch TV as another resident casts her ballot.

Photo by: Parker Brown

Residents watch TV as another resident casts her ballot.

The merits of the electronic ballot system were on full display at the Bronx Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Soundview today as many voters, confined to wheelchairs, could not easily access and operate the levered machines.

There are about 200 residents at the Bronx Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, and poll workers said they expected a turnout of about 30 to 40 people today. Most of those, said Deborah Oguamah, who is the coordinator of the voting booth workers, will use the electronic machine.

Though the polls opened at the mandated 6 a.m., Sheila Wright was the first resident here to cast her ballot. She used the newer machine because it was more accessible in a wheelchair and easier for her to operate as she has lost the use of one of her arms.

The voting booths — which were set up in the dayroom of the Center — didn’t stop residents from their daily activities like watching TV, using the vending machine, and playing with their pets.

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