CREEC Files Amicus Brief in Support of Voting Rights

Last Wednesday, CREEC teamed up with a huge and amazing group of civil rights and disability rights advocates to file an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to help uphold the rights of people with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The case originated in Maryland, when the National Federation of the Blind and several other plaintiffs went up against the Maryland State Board of Elections to protest the process of voting via absentee ballot. The plaintiffs alleged that defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities and the Rehabilitation Act by denying Maryland voters with disabilities the same opportunities to vote privately and independently that nondisabled voters enjoyed.  Under the challenged process, Blind voters have to print out absentee ballots, have someone else mark them, and then submit them. This process is not only cumbersome, but impossible for a blind voter to achieve while maintaining their independence and the privacy of their vote.  An existing (but not officially certified) online ballot marking tool would solve the problem, enabling blind voters to complete the entire process using screen readers or other accessible technology.   The Maryland district court held that the Board was violating the ADA and Rehab Act, and ordered the Board to make the online ballot marking tool available to voters with disabilities in the November 2014 general election. After allowing the online marking tool to be used during the 2014 election, the Board of Elections appealed the original decision. They argued that the voting system “as a whole” was accessible because votes with disabilities could vote in person at a number of different locations, and that therefore...
Support CREEC