Thursday, January 31, 2008


WASHINGTON – On Thursday, January 31, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) will hold a hearing on older voters, with a specific focus on states participating in the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries. The committee will explore issues of voter accessibility and spotlight on-going concerns that the Voter ID law currently pending before the Supreme Court could disproportionately disenfranchise seniors.

Barbara D. Bovbjerg from the U.S. Government Accountability Office will discuss issues surrounding senior transportation and mobility, ballot design, and poll site accessibility for the disabled. Deborah Markowitz, Vermont’s Secretary of State, will discuss the role Vermont has played as a leader in expanding voting opportunities for individuals with physical and cognitive impairment. Vermont—which will hold its primary on March 4—has a ‘vote-by-phone’ system and is implementing a mobile voting demonstration project to better facilitate voting within long-term care settings. Dr. Jason Karlawish from the University of Pennsylvania will provide an overview of which Super Tuesday states have guidelines to facilitate voting in long-term care settings, which do not, and the resulting implications.

He will also describe a model system for voting in long-term care settings. Dr. Wendy Weiser from the Democracy Project at New York University’s law school will convey how the Voter ID law under consideration by the Supreme Court unduly burdens seniors and why it should be overturned. She will also provide examples of seniors that would be disenfranchised due to the law.

A webcast of the hearing will be available on the Committee webpage:

Ashley GlacelPress SecretarySpecial Committee on AgingSenator Herb Kohl, ChairPh: (202) 224-5364 Cell: (202) 340-3299

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