G.O.P. Payments Rattle Disabled Voters: ‘We Don’t Have a Voice Anymore’

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“I want to make sure that indefinitely self-certification is not a de facto solution to electoral integrity measures already on the books,” said Mr Stroebel, adding that ballot return restrictions apply: “Any current practice for an individual who does not participate in an orchestrated mass ballot voting should be allowed under our law. In addition, a voter can simply send the ballot back by post. “

Another measure in Wisconsin would require anyone under the age of 65 who applied for permanent residence to produce a medical certificate. Republicans say this, along with photo ID requirements, would prevent people from fraudulently claiming status, and pointed to statements made by Milwaukee and Dane Counties early last year that due to a statewide order, at home to stay, any voter could claim it. After the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered them to stop, officials overturned that advice. The court later confirmed that individual voters could decide whether to qualify for status.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, 80 percent of those who claimed status last year had identification on file.

Disabled voters expressed concerns that in addition to the difficulty of finding transportation to appointments, the measure would require doctors to certify matters outside of their field of work – and that insurers might refuse to make office visits to get such notes as they do consider them medically unnecessary.

Denise Jess, the executive director of the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired, said she was concerned that her doctor would not even be willing to provide an assessment of her ability to travel to a polling station.

Ms. Jess, who is blind, prefers to vote in person as the polling stations have accessible devices that visually impaired voters can use to fill in their ballots on their own. But at some point, she said, it might become impossible for her to travel safely. If so, she’d have to find someone she could trust to write down her postal ballot and then find a legal person to return it.

Lobbying by disability rights groups had a number of effects: For example, the requirement for medical certification was removed from Texan legislation. At the same time, some disabled voters find it difficult even to express their opposition.