Court approves AG Herring’s agreement to protect voting rights of Virginians with disabilities

Virginia News

A federal lawsuit filed Monday by a coalition of disability advocacy groups and five Virginia residents claims that the state’s absentee voting requirements violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and prevents voters with disabilities from casting their ballots “privately and independently.” (File photo of polling station)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A court has approved an agreement that will ensure Virginians who have disabilities will be able to safely vote this November.

The agreement means the state will provide voters with disabilities different options for voting, such as using screen reader assistive technology, so they can vote privately and independently, Attorney General Mark Herring’s office announced in a news release Friday.

“As Attorney General, I have a duty to make sure that every eligible Virginian, including those with disabilities, are able to exercise their right to vote, while also promoting health and safety,” Herring said in a prepared statement in the release. “Safe, secure voting in Virginia has been a top priority of mine as we continue to navigate the various challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement is another big win for democracy and for Virginia voters, who continue to worry about their health and safety during this time.”

The state will make the tool that allows print-disabled voters to electronically receive and mark their absentee ballots — using assistive technology — available to all localities.

The state will also send updated guidance to local registrars and instructions on how to make a Ballot Marking Tool available to all print-disabled voters.

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