Washington, D.C. — Today, on the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31 years ago, the Texas legislature is convened in a special session where lawmakers are reviving harmful voting rights restrictions that would disenfranchise disabled Texans. The voting restrictions Texas lawmakers are considering would threaten the two essential voting avenues for Texans with disabilities: vote by mail and in person voting with assistance.
And it’s not just Texas — in statehouses across the country, lawmakers are considering voter restrictions that would make it harder for Americans with disabilities to exercise their fundamental rights.
“More than 30 years after the ADA became law, state lawmakers in Texas and across the country are throwing more obstacles in the way of disabled Americans trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The bigoted, backwards voting rights restrictions under consideration in Texas and across the U.S. threaten one of Americans’ most essential rights and fuel Trump’s Big Lie. If corporations that have made commitments towards enhancing diversity and inclusion are serious about those promises, they have no other choice but to get off the sidelines and support the millions of disabled Americans whose fundamental rights are in jeopardy.”
During negotiations on the voter restriction bills, Republican Texas legislators removed an amendment that would create a correction process for mail-in ballots with a rejected signature — a key concern of voter accessibility advocates that seeks to address concerns for voters whose signatures may change over time, and as a result, whose legitimate ballots might be wrongly thrown out. And advocates worry that Texas proposals to allow poll watchers to record videos of voters could lead partisan poll watchers to mistake legal accommodations for voters with disabilities as fraud.
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