People with disabilities still face voting challenges after Supreme Court decision overturned

NOW: People with disabilities still face voting challenges after Supreme Court decision overturned

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Three-hundred forty-thousand people across the state of Wisconsin who have a disability are eligible to vote, according to voting rights advocates.

They say the rights of people with disabilities have been under attack however; that's why they say voting is more important than ever for people who need help.

Officials at the Milwaukee County Election Commission, voting rights advocates, and people with disabilities teamed up Monday for National Disability Voting Rights Week to remind everyone voting needs to be accessible, private, and independently done.

People like Scott Luber, a plaintiff in Carey vs. the Wisconsin Election Commission, talked about how a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision scared him out of voting.

"[I was scared] that I would be breaking the law by doing so, by having assistance," said Independence First Board Vice Chair Scott Luber.

In late August, District Judge James Peterson overturned a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, asserting that the Voting Rights Act protects the rights of people who are disabled to get help returning a ballot.

"Now with this ruling, I will be able to vote," said Luber.

Advocates for people with disabilities say there are still obstacles however, like voting locations and availability of assistive technology.

Milwaukee election officials say the latest in accessible voting technology will be available at all 14 early voting sites.

Danita Jackson, who is completely blind, says that's important to her.

"Especially since I'm a totally blind voter and don't necessarily share my answers and have it private," said Jackson.

Especially with how many people fought for the rights of Black women like her.

"I want to honor those people," said Jackson.

Jackson tried out the accessible voting machines Monday -- they feature buttons in braille, listening options, and even help eliminate confusion when voting in primaries by only showing one party's ticket.

Disability rights advocates say machines like these can benefit everyone.

"It actually is helpful if people are an ally and ask to use the accessible voting machine, because then it reminds poll workers that this voting machine is available, and that it should be offered to everyone," said Disability Rights Wisconsin External Advocacy Director Barbara Beckert.

These machines aren't voting machines, they only print out a ballot that can then be submitted.

Early voting will start in Milwaukee on Oct. 25.

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