Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting the award winners for our Strengthening Democracy Awards on April 24th at the International Quilt Studies Museum in Lincoln. You can buy tickets here.
Fatos Floyd stood up to defend equal rights and access to elections
for herself and members of the blind community she represents in
In 2012 Fatos wanted to vote early, and in person, independently, and
privately along with several of her blind clients at the Lancaster
County Election Commissioner’s office. When she called to set up a
time to come down and vote in person she was told the AutoMark
machines that allow people with visual disabilities to vote
independently and privately would not be ready for several more weeks,
despite the fact early in person voting had already begun.
Ms. Floyd knew that federal law required that people with visual disabilities be given the opportunity to vote independently and privately. Instead of taking no for an answer, she contacted Civic Nebraska and with our assistance, filed a formal complaint that was adjudicated by a hearing officer appointed by Secretary of State John Gale.
Ms. Floyd has been a Lincoln resident since 1995. She took the position of Director at the Nebraska Center For The Blind, where she continues to serve . She has been an active member of the National Federation Of The Blind, a consumer advocacy organization, since 1982. She is also a founder and the immediate past Vice President of Blind Corps, a non-profit rehabilitation service reaching out to blind persons of developing nations. Recently she has discovered her talent for painting, and has begun to share and help others to tap into their artistic potential.
For taking a public stand for her voting rights and others that she represents, she is a Defender of Democracy.