Voters with Disabilities in Wisconsin Faced Problems

June 8, 2016

Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition: Click to go to website

Individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin encountered difficulties at the polls on April 5, according to a survey by the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition.

The survey was of 423 Wisconsin residents with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.

“Nearly 7 percent reported challenges at the polls or believed they were unable to vote in the most recent election,” the coalition noted in a press release on Wednesday.

“The most frequently cited reason for difficulty in voting appears to be poll workers turning away an individual who did not have a photo ID with a current address,” even though the address didn’t need to be current as along as the individual brought another document, like a gas bill, with the current address on it, the press release noted.

“It is unfortunate that a number of individuals with disabilities continue to experience barriers to voting, or believe they are prohibited from voting because of problems with their photo IDs,” said Kit Kerschensteiner, managing attorney at Disability Rights Wisconsin, which is a member of the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition. “Well-trained poll workers who fully understand the rules and voters’ rights are essential to make sure individuals with disabilities are not disenfranchised.”

The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a non-partisan effort to increase voting turnout and participation in the electoral process among members of Wisconsin’s disability community. The WDVC is funded by Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.