Disabled Californians Sue for Equal Voting Rights

Led by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), a group of Californians sued five California counties and the California Secretary of State in August to demand the right to vote without assistance and to vote using secret ballots. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires accessible voting systems so all voters, including those with disabilities, can vote the same way. That includes the ability of a voter to vote privately and to verify a ballot for accuracy after voting.

The plaintiffs include PVA, the California Council of the Blind and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), in addition to individuals. The counties being sued are Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma and Yolo. PVA says the suit seeks a declaratory judgment that California has failed to comply with the Help America Vote Act, and asks the Secretary of State to present a plan and timetable for compliance.

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