June 25, 2020
WASHINGTON—The National Council on Disability has sent a letter to the Department of Justice over voting concerns for people with disabilities.
The letter, addressed to DOJ’s Civil Rights Division Voting Section Chief Christopher Herren, urges DOJ to timely remind State Board of Election Administrators of their responsibilities under federal law.
This recommendation comes in light of voting process changes being made due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Election options made available to voters during the pandemic must be accessible to people with disabilities,” wrote NCD Chairman Neil Romano. “I urge DOJ to monitor, investigate, and stand ready to address potential civil rights violations for voters with disabilities that arise from these modifications through enforcement activities.”
Federal law requires that voters with disabilities be provided an accessible way to vote privately and independently, even if the option is to not vote in-person.
NCD’s report Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle analyzed the experiences of 900 voters with disabilities across the nation, finding pervasive architectural, attitudinal, technological, legislative, and voting practice barriers for people with disabilities. The report is available at NCD.gov.
Read the full letter here.