“How Voters With Disabilities Are Blocked From the Ballot Box” – StateLine
A South Carolina voter, prevented from entering a polling place by her physical disability, receives assistance from a poll worker on the day of the state’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary. More people with disabilities are encountering barriers to voting, a problem that is being exacerbated by the widespread return to paper ballots.
PHOTO SOURCE: Gerald Herbert, The Associated Press
“For decades, Kathy Hoell has struggled to vote. Poll workers have told the 62-year-old Nebraskan, who uses a powered wheelchair and has a brain injury that causes her to speak in a strained and raspy voice, that she isn’t smart enough to cast a ballot. They have led her to stairs she couldn’t climb and prevented her from using an accessible voting machine because they hadn’t powered it on. ‘Basically,’ Hoell said, ‘I’m a second-class citizen.’
“The barriers Hoell has faced are not unusual for the more than 35 million voting-age Americans with disabilities.”
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