WISCONSIN, (WAOW) — Confusion surrounding voting for people with disabilities continues to mount as the August 9th primary election nears.
This, just weeks after Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled voters must return their own ballots to the polls – a decision that’s lead to some voters taking matters into their own hands.
For almost three decades, Martha Chambers has been paralyzed from the neck down.
She has relied on help from others in order to cast her vote.
“To hand in my ballot in the email or to someone if I’m not able to get it in the mail on time, I need someone else.” said Chambers.
With the latest election, confusion surrounds whether her vote will count, with the state supreme court ruling in early July that only the voter can turn in an absentee ballot.
That ruling left many with disabilities frustrated.
“The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Elections Commission said no, your vote doesn’t count and you aren’t going to be able to vote.” said Chambers.
Chambers and three other Wisconsinites with disabilities issued a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, over access to the ballot box.
“We are asking for a federal judge to clarify whether or not in Wisconsin our votes are going to count.” said Chambers.
Disability rights advocates said the issue stretches beyond just those trying to cast their ballots.
“They said they would be providing information to municipal clerks about the federal laws,” said Barbara Beckert, Director of External Advocacy for Disability Rights Wisconsin.
She said she hopes clarification will be given to all municipalities with the coming elections.
“The importance of understanding that there are federal laws in place that protect the rights of voters with disabilities and provide them with equitable access to voting and with rights to accommodations.” said Beckert.
Voters with questions or concerns may contact the voter hotline at (844) 347-8683 or email email@example.com