Why new voting restrictions might deter disabled voters from the polls

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 6:35 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Lawmakers enacted restrictions last year on the state voting process, including rules on how Texans can assist voters when casting ballots. Texans assisting other voters must now fill out paperwork disclosing their relationship, indicate whether compensation was provided, and recite an expanded oath. Texans who offer or accept compensation for providing voter assistance would be in violation. It has been reported that the new rules are creating anxiety among those who assist people with disabilities as part of their job.

Mack Marsh, the Director of Programs for the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (BVCIL), joined First News at Four to discuss this.

The BVCIL is an organization in Brazos Valley that serves people with disabilities of all ages.

“We help them live independently in the community and we let them decide what that looks like,” said Marsh.

While Marsh has heard of some voting issues for disabled Texans across the state, he isn’t aware of any major issues due to the new restrictions here in the Brazos Valley.

“We’ve done a really good job educating them about what the new rules are,” said Marsh.

As far as what lawmakers can do to make voting more accessible for people with disabilities in Texas, Marsh believes there should be a better clarification of the rules.

“We want to make sure our elections are safe and secure, but we also want to make sure that we have full access to everyone who has the right to vote,” explained Marsh.

Learn more about the BVCIL here. Watch the full interview in the player above.

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