Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon introduced the Disability Voting Rights Act, a bill that would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.
"In the discussion of voting rights, individuals with disabilities are often overlooked, as are the barriers preventing them from making their voices heard at the ballot box," Congresswoman Scanlon said. "The Disability Voting Rights Act will ensure that states promote access to the ballot by making voter registration materials and polling places accessible for persons with disabilities. Our government only reflects the voices of the people when the people can be heard; this bill makes sure this fundamental right is accessible to all citizens."
The Disability Voting Rights Act will:
Make it easier for individuals with disabilities to request, by mail and electronically, voter registration and absentee ballot applications
Mandate that polling places, including the path of travel, entrances, exits, and voting areas of each polling facility, are accessible to individuals with disabilities
Allow individuals with disabilities to use absentee registration procedures and to vote by absentee ballot in elections for Federal office
Ensure that any valid voter registration and absentee ballot application from an individual with a disability must be processed if received not less than 30 days before the election
"People with disabilities deserve the right to be included in all aspects of life and their voice should be heard at the ballot box," Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said. "With over twenty one percent of Pennsylvanians living with a disability, the Disability Voting Rights Act will ensure that everyone who is able to vote can participate in our democracy. I am grateful that Congresswoman Scanlon has taken the lead on this important issue to not only Pennsylvanians but the country."
This bill will be adopted into H.R.1, the For the People Act, which is expected to pass the House next week.