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Action Alert: March 7, 2022

 

March 7, 2022 | by Amber Smock

Support Primary Voting for Illinoisans with Print Disabilities

Access Living friends and allies,

Earlier this year, we shared about disability advocacy to ensure that people who have trouble with paper ballots have access to digital voting. This can include people who are blind or have low vision, or people with physical disabilities that may make using a pen and manipulating paper difficult. The ability to vote digitally is critical to ensuring that no voter is left behind. Today, we’d like to share the below action alert from our friends at the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois.

ACTION ALERT

Tell Your Legislators to Support Accessible Vote by Mail

SB 829 requires the Illinois State Board of Elections (“State Board”) to provide a remote accessible vote by mail system that allows voters with print disabilities to receive, mark and verify their ballots electronically for the November 8, 2022, General Election, and subsequent elections.  It does NOT apply to the June 28, 2022, Primary Election.  Unlike voters without disabilities who wish to vote by mail for the Primary Election, voters with print disabilities who wish to vote by mail will be deprived of the right to vote privately and independently.

The State Board provided a system that allowed voters with disabilities to receive and mark their vote by mail ballots electronically for the November 2020 General Election.  Vote by mail for the June 28, 2022, Primary Election must be at least as accessible for voters with print disabilities as it was in 2020 and SB 829 should be amended to require it.  We cannot go backward to a vote by mail process that is completely inaccessible for voters with print disabilities for the Primary Election.

SB 829 HAS PASSED OUT OF THE SENATE AND IS NOW IN THE HOUSE.  THE LAST DAY OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS APRIL 8TH. THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW!


Two ways to take action to contact your state representative are to email and/or call them.

  1. To send them an email, use this form from Access Living which provides a template letter that you can edit, and it will automatically go to your state representative.
  2. Look up your state representative by using this link. You should be able to secure both their mailing address and their office phone numbers. If you decide to call their office, you could say something like this: “Hello, my name is ____ and I live in your district. I am calling to ask that you support amending SB 829 so that people with print disabilities can participate in this June’s primary elections. Being able to receive a ballot electronically will help make people with disabilities be able to vote with privacy. I hope you can support this. Thank you.”

Please share this important action alert with Illinoisans who care about ensuring that all eligible voters can actually vote this June! Thank you for your advocacy.