WTBBL narrator Rachel Glass records text from this year’s Voters’ Pamphlet. (Photo courtesy WTBBL)
This year’s statewide General Election Voters’ Pamphlet will be mailed out soon to more than 3 million Washington households. The largest edition, at nearly 300 pages, will take even the most patient reader a long time to get through it cover to cover.
For Washington voters living with disabilities, trying to read a printed edition of the Voters’ Pamphlet can be an impossible task. Every single voter deserves the right to learn more about the candidates and issues that Washingtonians will vote on this fall.
That’s why our Elections Division and the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library are again partnering to convert the Voters’ Pamphlet into audio so WTBBL patrons and other voters can learn about the people and measures they’ll consider when they fill out their ballots in a few weeks.
According to the Elections Division, the audio version of the Voters’ Pamphlet is now available. Elections will send a CD or USB flash drive that contains the audio version of the Voters’ Pamphlet to those who sign up by contacting the Elections Division’s voter hotline at (800) 448-4881 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those signing up need to provide their preferred format, name, telephone number and mailing address. Information for voters with disabilities can be found here. You can access the audio pamphlet online, too.
“Our office is committed to ensuring accessible elections for all Washington voters, including an audio Voters’ Pamphlet, so they have what they need to make an informed decision when they vote,” said Elections Director Lori Augino. “We are thrilled to partner with WTBBL to create the material and get it in the hands of voters who will benefit from an audio Voters’ Pamphlet.”
WTBBL, part of the Washington State Library, has two narrators, Rachel Glass and Gregg Porter, who spent hours each day recording and editing the text found in the Voters’ Pamphlet. WTBBL Director Danielle Miller says it’s no easy task.
“When you consider this year’s Voters’ Pamphlet is nearly 300 pages and contains information on many races and ballot measures, it’s a pretty long and intense project to have narrators read aloud the text on all of those pages so it can be converted into audio,” Miller said. “But it’s worth it because we believe, and our Elections Division believes, that every Washington voter deserves access to the information found in the Voters’ Pamphlet. Our team working on the elections project is proud to be part of it. They know the audio pamphlet will provide voters with disabilities the information needed to independently make informed choices when they vote.”
All formats for this fall’s Voters’ Pamphlet, including in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese, can be found here. The link also provides access to the TVW Video Voters’ Guide.