It’s not supposed to happen.
Laws regarding voter registration and ID requirements vary from state to state, but if you are eligible and registered, you should be able to vote at your polling place. And barring any long lines, it should be simple. Right?
Not always. If you are a person with a disability, it’s sometimes not simple at all, even though polling place accessibility is required as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our client, Indiana Disability Rights, is a group of attorneys and advocates who fight for the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities. As the protection and advocacy system for our state, IDR is a federally mandated and funded nonprofit organization that works on behalf of all people in Indiana who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. Any of these disabilities may present challenges when it’s time to go to the polls.
IDR recently asked us to write a series of videos to raise awareness—in the disability community and in the state election community—of issues affecting voters with disabilities. The videos were produced and directed with the help of WFYI, our local PBS affiliate.
Indiana Disability Rights wanted the videos to feature real people with disabilities. So we made sure our video concepts were written to include those voices. We wrote the videos not only to raise awareness among the disability community, but also to help poll workers ensure that polling places meet accessibility requirements.
If you care about voting rights, you should watch them. As Dan, an Indiana Disability Rights intake coordinator, puts it: “My vote is my voice.”
We couldn’t agree more.
On Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, Indiana Disability Rights attorneys will answer questions and take complaints from persons with disabilities who have any issue casting their vote. The #HoosiersVote Hotline at 800.622.4845 will be open during polling hours, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. local time.