MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Many disabled residents in McKinney are still without transportation since the city canceled its contract with a Sherman-based paratransit service last year.
The city rejected an offer from DART and is currently exploring other options but until mass transit returns, early voting and Election Day will be more challenging for those who can’t drive or walk to vote.
Maritza Spainhouer, who’s legally blind is one resident who now relies on friends and family to get to the polls. She also doesn’t own a computer.
Spainhouer gained U.S. citizenship in 2000 and takes her right to vote seriously.
“I want to exercise my obligation and my right. I want to express myself,” said Spainhouer, who considers herself lucky to have a husband who can drive her to a polling site since she found voting by mail too difficult.
McKinney resident Bill Bunting is another disabled person who said he has problems voting by mail. He also doesn’t own a computer nor can he read. Bunting relies on his parents to drive him to the polls.
“With no transportation it’s extremely hard,” he said.
Both disabled residents said their situations are glaring examples of why McKinney needs a public transportation service to help not only the physically impaired, but also the elderly and poor cast their ballots.
“Their American rights are being taken away,” said Bill’s father, David Bunting.
Plano and Allen have paratransit service through DART while Frisco uses the Denton County Transportation Authority.
While getting to the polls may be a problem for the disabled here, voting is easy because the election staff will bring a ballot outside to a vehicle if necessary.
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