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November 4, 2020Press Release

Disabled and BIPOC Mail-In Ballots are Valid and Must Be Counted in Pennsylvania


November 4, 2020


Contact:    Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer

                  Disability Rights Pennsylvania
                  301 Chestnut Street
                  Suite 300
                  Harrisburg PA, 17101
                  Phone: 717) 236-8110 ext. 302


Disabled and BIPOC Mail-In Ballots are Valid and Must Be Counted in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA | With great gratitude in our post-election state, we at Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) would like to thank the voters with disabilities that participated in the voting process during this election cycle. We also extend our gratitude to the many advocates across the country, and at DRP, that aided in making sure those in our community could do so. Now is the time to count them—every single vote. The Disability Community showed up to vote to shape the kind of country we all want to live in. Now, every vote must count. Disability Rights Pennsylvania will continue to advocate to ensure that the voting rights of Pennsylvanians with disabilities are protected.

Pennsylvania election officials are using extensive security and accuracy measures to count this historic number of mail-in ballots, which means that ballots may take a while to count. The disabled community’s voices will be heard, and our voices will be counted.

As Pennsylvania continues to count every vote, a few voices in our Commonwealth and across the country are claiming that mail-in ballots are not valid or are not an equal method of voting. Others have questioned the validity of the counting practices in Pennsylvania. Both of those claims are false. “It’s important that everyone remember that disabled, Black, indigenous, and communities of color relied on mail-in and absentee ballots to cast their vote,” said Peri Jude Radecic, CEO of Disability Rights Pennsylvania. “Lawsuits that seek to stop the count, end the count, or throw out mail-in ballots are disenfranchising the disabled and BIPOC voters who could not get to the polls on election day. Mail-in ballots are a valid way for disabled people to vote. Because the pandemic placed disabled people in a precarious position, the uncounted votes will disproportionately reflect those with disabilities. Saying they are not to be counted begs the question if this country believes these communities matter to our nation.”