OPINION: Voting is secure but needs to be accessible

Kansas is known for its secure elections, meaning voter identification is taken seriously. Despite secure elections, there could be more accessibility in voting lines on Election Day for those who have disabilities or who are elderly.

Voting lines should make sure those with physical disabilities get accessibility accommodations needed while standing in line.

Many people, regardless of if they have a disability or not, only have the option of voting on Election Day. Many have families, full time jobs and a full household to take care of.

In addition, many people with physical disabilities also have medical limitations. Therefore, they may be waiting at home until they feel well enough, so they can save up all that extra energy for Election Day.

Some also just take pride in voting on Election day. If someone has the willingness to fulfill their civic duty, let them.

On Nov. 8, an elderly couple that stood in front of me struggled to stand in line after almost an hour of waiting. Instead of this, a designated volunteer could be walking throughout the lines to make sure everyone who has trouble standing can sit down while they wait. Those in charge of check-in can call their name when it’s their turn to vote.

Curbside assistance for voting is a right for those that struggle to make the walk to the voting line. According to the Kansas Election Officer Handbook for Disability and Accessibility in Voting, polling places must offer curbside voting for the elderly and people with disabilities. Their ballot will not be counted as a provisional ballot with curbside assistance.

Also, voting lines in buildings tend to be in tight spaces. Allowing those in wheelchairs and those to use walkers to stand in the front will help them to move through the line quicker and not use up energy. The handbook also states that accessible entrances and paths should be marked and doorways should be at least 32 inches when opened and should be easy to open.

It is crucial to make voting  accessible so those with disabilities and the elderly can have fair access during every election.