The experience of visiting the polls during Election Day represents the ability to make your voice heard. Unfortunately, a new report from Disability Scoop finds that thousands of Californians with disabilities are being denied their right to vote.
“The problem of voting rights violations of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is not isolated to Los Angeles….”
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a landmark piece of legislation that aimed to enforce the voting rights laid out in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Included in the Act is a provision that forbids literacy tests or any similar methods of disqualifying voters. A complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice claims that California judges have been making use of such tests for several years, violating the rights of thousands of individuals with disabilities.
Advocates believe that this, and other complaints, are in violation of the Voting Rights Act, and urge the Department of Justice to step in. Attorney Thomas F. Coleman says the problem is not just an isolated incident: “The problem of voting rights violations of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is not isolated to Los Angeles. Such civil rights violations are occurring elsewhere in California. Indeed, this is happening in many states throughout the nation.”
For more information on the complaint, read the full report on DisabilityScoop.com.