The website DisabilityScoop reported last week that legal, physical and attitude barriers at polling stations are causing problems for voters with disabilities.
According to the website, during the 2012 election cycle, 1 in 5 voters with disabilities said that they were kept from casting a ballot because they encountered hurdles around polling areas, including rude or condescending attitudes from election workers.
The news comes from a report done by the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency. “Overall, the council found that problems were widespread,” DisabilityScoop reported. “Nearly 40 percent of voters with disabilities said their polling place was physically inaccessible and almost half indicated that technology was problematic.”
The report also found that state laws have begun to limit the right to vote for people with disabilities who are under guardianships. “People with disabilities make up approximately 1 in 5 of our nation’s population and yet 70 percent of polling places are still not accessible,” Clyde Terry, a member of the National Council on Disability told DisabilityScoop. “A decade after the Help America Vote Act was signed into law, meaningful action by election officials to guarantee the most fundamental right of all Americans — including those with disabilities — is not only warranted, it is long past overdue.”
The council said that it would urge for better training for election workers, and enforcement of civil rights laws for accessible voting equipment. It is unfortunate that some of the most venerable members of society have to deal with obstacles in order to vote. These citizens rely on their elected officials to produce legislation that affects their lives on a daily basis.
It should be noted that many of these disabled citizens are collecting or may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you are disabled due to an injury or a condition, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability lawyer to help you get the benefits you need. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers