WASHINGTON – In a letter today to Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) and Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) said H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act, will negatively impact individuals with disabilities.
“The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) writes today to express our concerns with the impact of H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Election (SAFE) Act, on voters with disabilities. While improvements have been made to the legislation as it has moved through the legislative process, we continue to remain concerned that, taken as a whole, the bill will negatively impact voters with disabilities,” wrote Executive Director Curt Decker. He went on to say, “NDRN believes that action to protect the security of our votes is necessary to ensure the health of our electoral system. However, the need to create accurate and secure elections must be balanced with protecting access to the vote for all eligible Americans.”
The Executive Director’s main concerns are that H.R. 2722: 1) Federally segregates disabled voters by mandating only voters with disabilities may use ballot marking devices (BMDs); 2) Limits the ability for voters with disabilities to cast a private ballot; 3) Limits the ability for the disability community to privately and independently verify and ultimately cast their ballot.
“BMDs are not the accessibility panacea that makes federally mandated paper based voting work for people with disabilities,” said Decker. The letter concludes by saying, “NDRN firmly believes that all Americans, including people with disabilities, want secure, accurate, and fair elections, but not at the expense of the right to vote for people with disabilities.”
To read the full letter from the National Disability Rights Network, CLICK HERE.
The Democrats’ H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act:
The Democrats’ partisan bill is federalizing elections through:
Mandatory Paper Ballots – This bill mandates that states exclusively use paper ballots, effectively banning any type of direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. To learn more about the many issues with paper ballots, CLICK HERE.
Federally Mandated Manual Hand Recounts – H.R. 2722 would result in significantly more manual hand recounts of paper ballots. Voters want results at the end of an Election Day. Manual recount requirements will result in longer, drawn out elections that are extremely expensive and may takes weeks, if not months, to reach a decision.
Irresponsible Funding Commitment – The funding of elections is the primary responsibility of the states. Democrats are blindly committing $1.3 billion over the course of 10 years in their partisan bill. The Republican solution, the Election Security Assistance Act, provides $380 million in grants in preparation for the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, there is a 25% funding match requirement from states, which forces states receiving federal funds to have their own skin- in-the-game.
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