Disabilities Advocates: Texas Mail Ballot System Disenfranchises People With Disabilities

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A group of advocates for Texans with disabilities sued the state of Texas on Friday claiming its mail ballot system kept people with disabilities from participating in mail voting.

The lawsuit filed in a federal court in Austin alleges that the current system, which is done on paper ballots, is inaccessible to blind voters and other voters with disabilities who can’t complete a paper ballot because of their disability.

“There is plenty of time to allow Texas to make mail-in ballots accessible in time for the upcoming elections on Nov. 3,” Lia Davis, senior attorney at Disability Rights Texas, said in a statement. “People who are blind have a right to use the mail-in ballot option, and they should not be unnecessarily exposed to the COVID-19 virus at the polls. We believe there is an easy remedy to this problem and the Secretary of State’s obstinance is discriminatory.”

Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughs was named as a defendant in the lawsuit in her official capacity. A spokesman for her office declined comment, citing pending litigation.

 

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