For Immediate Release
Contact: David Card
WASHINGTON, DC – Like everyone else, we at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) anxiously await the results of the election. We hope that the votes can be counted quickly so that Americans can feel confident in knowing who will be their next president.
However, a quick vote count is no substitute for an accurate one. And that is why we are strongly calling upon state election officials, state legislatures, the courts, and the federal government to ensure that every vote is counted. Anything less than a full count will not only cast doubts upon the legitimacy of the process but potentially set a precedent for the future exclusion of voters with disabilities.
“If you did everything right, but your ballot isn’t returned on time due to mail delays, we want to ensure your vote is counted. If you did everything right, but have difficulty leaving an exact signature, we want to ensure your vote is counted. All of these challenges to counting mail-in votes are, at times quite directly, a challenge to the right of individuals with disabilities to vote in a manner that is safe and secure. We stand strongly in favor of counting every vote to prevent further erosions of the rights of the one in six voters with a disability,” said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network.
The disability community is significantly more likely to vote by mail. This is for a variety of reasons including: the limited accessibility of in-person polling places, lack of adequate transportation, and an individual needing to limit their exposure to others due to being immunocompromised. When those who vote by mail have their ballots thrown out, it means that our community is disproportionately impacted. NDRN calls upon both parties and all individuals involved in the counting process to put the rights of Americans with disabilities ahead of partisanship, and count every vote.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.