Protect Disabled Voters’ Access to Ballots

Target: Lori Augino, President of the Executive Board of the National Association of State Election Directors

Goal: Ensure safe access to voting materials and stations for disabled Americans.

Millions of Americans with disabilities and heightened vulnerability to COVID-19 and other diseases may not be able to safely cast their votes in the crucial upcoming November elections. A post-election report in 2016 found that 60% of polling stations had at least one accessibility barrier, representing a failure to adhere to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act despite its passage 30 years ago.

Cuts to public transportation, a reduction in the number of voting stations, and consequent long travel times and waiting lines pose a serious risk to the health of as many as 40 million people. Furthermore, states that require absentee voters to have their ballot signed by a witness or notary are placing disabled voters at additional risk by forcing those who wish to isolate to come into contact with people who aren’t members of their households.

Together, these reductions and requirements may discourage many voters from casting their votes at all. This cannot be allowed to happen in any election, let alone one so important as this. Sign the petition below to urge state elections boards to guarantee safe access to voting for all their citizens.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Augino,

In states which have failed to adapt to safe voting practices amid the ongoing pandemic, millions of Americans risk harm if they journey outside of their homes to participate in elections. Many may even be forced to lose their right to a private vote due to requirements for witness signatures, or even abstain from voting altogether.

The November elections are likely to be among the most important in United States history, and all citizens have a right to free and safe voting. I urge you to call upon the members of the National Association of State Election Directors to ensure that this access is provided to residents of their respective states.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: New York City Department of Transportation




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