Capitol Correspondence - 05.21.24

DOJ Affirms Voting Rights for People with Disabilities Ahead of Election

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Despite advancements in voting accessibility, a recent report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Rutgers University found that people with disabilities were over three times as likely to report difficulties voting in 2022 compared to other voters, contributing to lower voter turnout among this group according to Disability Scoop.

As the presidential election approaches, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) updated its guidance on the rights of people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other relevant laws, emphasizing the legal protections in place to ensure these individuals can participate fully in the electoral process.

The new guidance clarifies that people with disabilities are entitled to register to vote, access polling places and voting systems, and receive assistance from a person of their choice without facing discrimination. It also specifies that states cannot impose stricter standards on people with disabilities, including those under guardianship, to demonstrate their capacity to vote compared to other voters.

Additionally, the DOJ emphasizes that voters with disabilities have the right to assistance with requesting, completing, and returning their ballots, whether voting in person, absentee, or by mail. Polling places must also allow service animals and offer accessible voting methods.

For more resources on how you can support people in your communities to vote, join us for our webinar on Elevating Your Advocacy this Summer, which will take place on June 18 at 1 pm EDT.