Voting

4-5 minute read

Voting icon. A hand makes the thumbs up sign.Our Position

CTD supports legislation that protects the rights of all Texans with disabilities to participate fully in the voting process, including: accessible voting technologies at all polling locations, the elimination of architectural and communication barriers at polling locations, and protecting the rights of eligible voters to participate in elections.

In 2021, our priorities are to:

The Latest

September 14, 2020: Former House speaker Joe Straus: Texas should stop fighting vote-by-mail and accommodate people who need the option

September 9, 2020: More about our win in the mail-in ballot suit from the Austin American-Statesman, Judge orders Texas to change way mail-in ballots are rejected

September 8, 2020: A federal judge ruled that Texas' process for rejecting mail-in ballots based on a signature mismatch “plainly violates certain voters’ constitutional rights” & must be corrected ahead of November. CTD is among the co-plaintiffs in the suit against the state. 

August 24, 2020: CTD is among the co-signed on Texas Civil Rights Project's letter to the Governor, requesting that he use his powers "to ensure that every Texas voter who complies with the requirements for voting by mail will have their ballot accepted and counted by election officials this November."

July 24, 2020: CTD joins a group of advocates for Texans with disabilities who are suing the state of Texas because its mail ballot system kept people with disabilities from participating in voting by mail (Dallas Morning News)

NOTE: If you vote by mail, make sure the signatures on your Ballot by Mail Application and ballot match as closely as possible. Otherwise, your vote may be thrown out. Get updates on the 2020 mail-in ballot layout plus, tips on working with your post office from the Center on Civic Design.

Partners

American Council of the Blind of Texas

REV UP! Texas

Background

CTD has worked to protect the voting rights of Texans with disabilities and promote voting within this community since our foundation in 1978. For example, for many years, we successfully opposed Voter ID bills in the Texas legislature, which would have restricted access to the voting process. In 2011, the legislature did pass a Voter ID bill, but one with a CTD amendment that allows a person with a disability to claim an exemption from the new requirements.

In 2019, voter rights were once again the spotlight. SB 9 (Hughes) proposed new requirements for providing assistance to voters with disabilities, including potential criminal penalties for honest mistakes. CTD joined a coalition of disability, voting, and civil rights organizations in expressing major concerns about the constitutional legality of SB 9, as well as the chilling effect it could have had on the number of people willing to assist Texas voters with disabilities. Thanks to the push back from this coalition, SB 9 lost the momentum and support it would have needed to pass the House. SB 9 was a priority bill for state leaders, and stopping the bill is a major achievement.

From the letter the coalition sent to Senate: “We the undersigned members and supporters of REV UP Texas collectively and strongly urge you to oppose SB 9. SB 9, by creating new requirements for individuals providing assistance to voters with disabilities with potential criminal penalties, would have a chilling effect on the number of people willing to assist Texas voters with disabilities and increase barriers for voters with disabilities.” Read the full letter


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Further Reading

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