Disability Rights California names the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Office a recipient of its Inaugural Awards for Outstanding Service to Voters with Disabilities
SANTA ANA, CA – December 16, 2022 – Disability Rights California (DRC) this week presented the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Office with an Inaugural Award for Outstanding Service to Voters with Disabilities. This award recognizes the efforts of several staff members in ensuring that a voter with disabilities was able to complete her voter registration and cast her vote in the November 2022 election.
Disability Rights California is the largest disability rights organization in the nation and has been in operation for more than 40 years, working to advance the rights of Californians with disabilities.
DRC said the following about why it selected our office for one of its awards:
We decided that it is time to recognize elections officials and community partners who have gone “above and beyond” for voters with disabilities.
This year we recognized the following elections offices and individuals:
Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Office for the efforts of multiple staff, including Roxana Castro, Imelda Carrillo, and Justin Berardino, to ensure that a voter with disabilities was able to complete her voter registration and cast her vote in the November 2022 election. Their substantial efforts began in the late afternoon the day before Election Day, shortly after DRC became aware of the voter’s need for help, and continued through Election Day night.
After moving to Orange County, the voter had received help from a friend in updating her voter registration online. However, due to the nature of her disabilities, she did not become aware until the evening of the day before Election Day—thanks to help from DRC and the county elections office—that she had missed a step in the voter registration process, which she thought she had completed months earlier. Because her voter registration was not complete, she would not be able to cast her vote in the November 2022 election unless she was able to complete her voter registration and mark a provisional ballot on Election Day. The voter’s disabilities prevented her from leaving her home without assistance, which she lacked on such short notice. The voter also did not have the necessary technology to take these steps from home on her own.
County elections officials tried to find staff they could send to the voter’s home to assist her on Election Day but expressed their deep apologies that they lacked adequate staffing. As an alternative, they developed a detailed plan for ensuring that the voter could complete all necessary steps, from completing her voter registration to marking and submitting her ballot selections, with real-time phone assistance from an elections official—if DRC could find someone to help the voter in person. Thanks to the assistance of DRC’s community partners, one of whom also is an awardee (see below), this plan was successful. Without the commitment, flexibility, and creative thinking of these officials in the Orange County elections office, this voter would not have been able to vote in her new county of residence.
More details of the award can be found on Disability Rights California’s website at https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/latest-news/disability-rights-california-presents-its-inaugural-awards-for-outstanding-service-to
Quote by Registrar of Voters Bob Page
“Our staff is committed to ensuring that all voters in Orange County have equal access to the election process. We are honored to have been presented with this award.”