Date: July 9, 2021
Contact: Rachita Singh, email@example.com
Washington D.C. – Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to our democracy. In their decision on Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, the Supreme Court has undermined Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision meant to protect voters from discriminatory and racist voting restrictions. This destructive decision comes on the heels of nation-wide attacks on voting rights in states like Texas where disability advocates in Texas prepare for a special legislative session in which legislators will consider more anti-voting legislation to add seemingly arbitrary barriers for disabled voters, voters of color, and disabled voters of color.
In Arizona, the Supreme Court decision upholds two incredibly harmful voting bills that have disparate impacts on some voters—a law prohibiting election officials from counting ballots from eligible voters cast in the wrong precinct and a law criminalizing the collection of voted ballots for delivery by anyone but family members, caregivers, and election officials. The discarding of ballots cast out of precinct and restrictions on vote by mail further disenfranchise disabled and voters of color, who may not have access to reliable accessible transportation, have limited time to vote, lack access information on precincts that may change last minute, or face other voting barriers. For tribal communities in Arizona, who experience some of the highest rates of disability, these laws that restrict voting access have especially harsh impacts. Tribal voters often already face barriers of limited access to mail service used for vote-by-mail and long distances to polling sites and post offices, and collecting and delivering ballots in groups has helped in the past to address these barriers.
Stalwarts of Civil Rights, including the late Representative John Lewis, set up the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a tool to prevent and eliminate racist and other discriminatory practices that exclude certain people from participating in our democracy. We urge Congress to move quickly to introduce and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to protect our voting rights from malicious attacks. Disabled people and communities of color have long fought for our right to vote, and we will continue to push for a democracy that is accessible to all.