To make sure everyone has the chance to vote in November, Salt Lake County elections officials are searching the valley for polling places handicapped people can get to easily.
Handicapped people had trouble getting into many of the homes used for voting in the past, said John "Butch" Dierman, elections official."This year we will use a lot of mortuaries, banks, credit unions, rest homes and health care facilities," Dierman said. He said he may even rent a hotel room as a polling place on election night. "We're looking for people to say, `Use my building.' "
The county includes 712 polling districts, Dierman said.
"Some people just don't see the need for it (facilities for the handicapped)," he said.
Merrilea Jones, county elections clerk, said people in wheelchairs are not the only ones the county wants to help. Some people, because of psychological disorders, are afraid to vote.
"Say you're 45 years old and you've never voted before. You might be afraid of being laughed at," Jones said. She wants such people to visit her office, 2001 S. State, where she will help them understand how voting is done.
The county also will allow people to register by mail this year. Registration forms are available at banks, post offices and libraries, Dierman said.