New voting machines lack use of braille, could pose trouble for the blind

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LANSING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — New voting machines in Michigan may cause problems for residents with a visual disability in Kent County.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Tuesday's primary will feature $40 million of new equipment that replaced aging voting machines.

Blind voters in the state have used AutoMark Voter Assist Terminals for more than a decade. The terminals have a touch screen and a keypad with Braille.

Most Michigan counties will now use Dominion Voting Systems. The equipment doesn't have keypads with Braille and feature verbal instructions that can be difficult for a blind person to follow.

Fred Woodhams is a spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office. He says the device is federally certified and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A 2015 survey estimates that about 221,000 Michigan residents have a visual disability.

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