El Dorado County Is First In California To Offer Sign Language Videos Reading Ballot Measures

by Placerville Newswire / Jan 29, 2020 / comments

[Bill O'Neill, Registrar of Voters]

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County's Registrar of Voters, Bill O'Neill, today announced the launch of videos that use sign language to present the ten individual measures on this March's primary ballot. It is the first time a California county has offered sign language as a way for hearing-impaired voters to learn about ballot measures.

"One of the most important things I can do as Registrar of Voters is to make the entire voting process accessible and understandable to all voters," said O'Neill. "Historically, we have provided voter information in multiple languages and made accommodations for those in wheelchairs. Providing these sign language videos, which mirror what is in the voter pamphlet and on the ballot, is the next logical step in eliminating barriers for every registered voter," he added.

Each of the ten videos is between 40 seconds to just over one minute in length. They are signed, voiced and captioned on the screen simultaneously.

"We are happy to have utilized the excellent signing skills of Rachel Porter, an employee of NorCal Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Sacramento who has extensive experience in the field, at no cost to the taxpayer," said O'Neill.

The videos can be accessed by visiting the County's YouTube channel, El Dorado County Communications, here.

"While this is a first for the State, we also have several other 'firsts' for the County, including the change to Vote Centers where people can go to vote up to 10 days in advance of election day regardless of where they live in the county and the addition of ballot drop boxes where voters can deposit their ballots 28 days before the election, replacing the traditional polling places," O'Neill said.