Five months after a federal court reaffirmed that voters with disabilities are entitled to receive help with their ballots, not all local Wisconsin election officials are clear about the rules on helping residents to vote.
By Mitchell Schmidt, The Wisconsin State Journal, Feb. 21, 2023
(TNS) — It’s been more than five months since a federal court reaffirmed that voters with disabilities are entitled to receive help mailing or delivering absentee ballots, but lingering confusion among some local election officials has left some voters facing continuing barriers to their right to vote.
“What’s especially concerning is that we have heard and seen examples from several municipalities where the clerk actually included instructions along with the absentee ballot that said only the voter can return their ballot,” Disability Rights Wisconsin spokesperson Barbara Beckert said earlier this week. “Most voters are going to see that and accept that, ‘Well, I guess I can’t have someone assist me with returning my ballot so I guess I’m not going to be able to vote.'”
The federal Voting Rights Act allows voters with disabilities to receive assistance as long as the person helping them isn’t the voter’s employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.