October 21, 2020•Press Release
Disability Rights Pennsylvania Announces Voting Rights Email and Hotline for Voters with Disabilities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Contact: Peri Jude Radecic, CEO
Disability Rights Pennsylvania Announces
Voting Rights Email and Hotline for Voters with Disabilities
800-692-7443 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harrisburg, PA – Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP), a leader in disability rights legal advocacy services for forty-three (43) years, will operate an email and telephone hotline to provide voter assistance to persons with disabilities in Pennsylvania. The hotline will start today and operate through Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
Voters with disabilities who have questions about absentee or mail-in ballots, casting a ballot from a long-term care facility, asking and receiving an accommodation from their county, finding their polling place or other issues prior to Election Day can email DRP at email@example.com or call 800-692-7443 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
On November 3, DRP will staff the Election Day hotline from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm for any issues related to the vote for Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
“The disability community is ready to cast our ballots this election,” said Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Rights Pennsylvania. “COVID-19 does not mean we lose our right to vote because of where we live or because counties had to consolidate polling places at the last minute. Just the opposite. It means the law permits us to exercise our right to vote in any number of ways up to and including Election Day.”
Federal civil rights laws were passed to ensure people with disabilities have access to polling places, are able to register to vote, have voting materials in accessible formats, and can exercise a private and independent vote. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights
Act of 1965, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania notes that barriers for people with disabilities up to, and on, Election Day can include uneven implementation or interpretation of the law across all counties in the Commonwealth, inaccessible polling places, lack of accommodations, voter intimidation, and accessible machine failures. Voters who experience problems or barriers should call 800-692-7443 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DRP has an Election 2020 page on its website. Voters can go to www.disabilityrightspa.org/election2020/.
Individuals who speak languages other than English should state their language and an interpreter will be connected to the call. Callers using the Pennsylvania Relay Service can dial 711.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) is the statewide protection and advocacy agency for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DRP protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation. DRP’s vision is a Commonwealth where people of all abilities are equal and free. www.disabilityrightspa.org.