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Secretary of State Husted Announces Grant Opportunity for Voter Education Programs for People with Disabilities

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that Ohio has received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Help America Vote Act, to provide grants for the development of programs designed to improve the accessibility to, and participation in, the election process for individuals with disabilities.

“There are many good organizations working every day to serve Ohioans with disabilities,” Husted said. “I look forward to getting their ideas and working with them to ensure Ohioans with disabilities can more easily participate fully in our elections process.”

The Secretary of State’s office, which will administer and oversee the grant, is currently seeking proposals for the development of voter education programs that address the specific needs of Ohioans with disabilities and encourage the participation of those individuals in the election process. Proposals for organizations seeking to assist county boards of elections in increasing the physical accessibility of voting will also be considered. Eligible proposals should directly benefit a full range of disabilities, such as individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf, visually impaired or blind, have a full range of mobility impairments, emotional impairments, cognitive impairments and intellectual impairments. Selected grant proposals could serve all disability populations, or a specific disability, on a statewide basis, or specific geographical area of the state.

Proposals selected to receive funding will be awarded grants in the amounts of $20,000 or $10,000. Grant applications must be non-partisan in their effort to educate people with disabilities about voting and may be submitted by agencies, organizations, non-profits or individuals. The deadline for submitting grant applications is 5:00pm on May 2, 2011.

Completed grant proposals should be returned to Brett Harbage with the Secretary of State’s office either by email at bharbage@sos.state.oh.us, by fax at (614) 485-7070, or by mail at 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Additional information regarding the grant application is available at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/news/20110329.pdf.

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