Pennsylvania Offers Accessible Write-In Ballots for Voters with Disabilities

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HARRISBURG, Pa.– Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar announced this week that the Department of State will provide accessible write-in ballots to voters with disabilities who request one.

“These ballots will allow blind and low-vision voters to vote privately and independently in Tuesday’s primary,” Secretary Boockvar said. “We are committed to increasing accessibility for voters with disabilities and implementing a long-term solution for accessible ballots for the November election and beyond.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson issued an order on Wednesday mandating that the department offer an accessible write-in primary ballot for voters with disabilities who request one.

To obtain an accessible write-in ballot, an individual must:

Be an eligible Pennsylvania voter who applied for an absentee or mail-in ballot by the May 26, 2020, deadline and has not yet submitted their voted ballot.

Submit an email request to ra-awib@pa.gov for the accessible write-in ballot by 8 p.m. on May 29, 2020. Include in the email the voter’s full name, date of birth and address where registered.

Complete an accessible declaration electronically sent to them by the department and authenticate the declaration with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license, a valid Pennsylvania state personal identification number or the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number.

The department will electronically transmit via email to the requesting voter: (1) an accessible write-in ballot; (2) an accessible declaration form; (3) accessible instructions; (4) an accessible candidate list for the voter’s election district; and (5) a write-in envelope.

Using their screen reader software, voters with disabilities can then vote in the privacy of their own homes, print their voted ballot and return it to their county elections office. Their county must receive their voted ballot by 8 p.m. on June 2. A postmark is not sufficient.

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