“Designing Accessible Elections: Recommendations from Disability Voting Rights Advocates”

Ihaab SyedMichelle BishopSarah BrannonErika Hudson, and Kristen Lee have written this article in ELJ. Here is the abstract:

Disability is frequently cited as a reason that Americans do not vote. This article offers legal and policy practitioner perspectives on core challenges people with disabilities face in exercising their voting rights in the United States, from obtaining election information to casting their ballots. Drawing on our collective experience—which includes professional experience as advocates working to improve access to voting for people with disabilities, as well as first-hand knowledge of how people with disabilities navigate the voting process—we analyze some of the main reasons why barriers persist, despite robust federal accessibility mandates. In doing so, we provide insights into how local and state election officials can improve election policies, practices, and procedures. In presenting our recommendations, we suggest that there is no one-stop, “silver-bullet” solution for achieving accessible elections. An effective pathway toward improvement would involve consulting with a broad spectrum of local residents with disabilities, maintaining close and ongoing dialogue with them about their needs and preferences, and tailoring election programs accordingly.

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