MADISON, WI– An attack on the voting rights of some, is an attack on the voting rights of us all. We must stop and speak up when the voting rights of eligible voters wrongfully come into question. Voting is a right, and it is a right that people with disabilities of all sorts have all the same.

Over the past few days, voting fraud investigations by the Racine County Sheriff’s Office have perpetuated deeply harmful ideas.

It is disturbing to hear authority figures speak so disrespectfully toward those with differing abilities and fully disregard their right and capacity to participate in democracy. People with cognitive disabilities, living in care facilities or who need assistance in casting a ballot all have a right to vote.

“We should be glad we live in a society where this sacred right is not taken away with ease,” said Debra Cronmiller, LWVWI executive director.

Only a judge can take away an eligible voter’s right to vote if the person is deemed “incapable of understanding the objective of the elective process.” Having a diagnosis, needing assistance or a family member thinking a person should not vote is not enough to deny someone of their right to cast a ballot.

It is also offensive to insinuate that the act of assisting a voter to cast their ballot is manipulation or somehow preying on some of Wisconsin’s voters who are most vulnerable to voter suppression.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin staunchly defends the right to vote and recognizes that circumstances when this right can be legally taken away, are few and far between.

Voters with disabilities and older voters already have numerous barriers to voting including lack of transportation, polling places that are inaccessible, medical conditions, difficulty obtaining photo ID, less access to technology and more.

A healthy democracy can not function when any group is disenfranchised nor can it function with constant, baseless attempts to incite fear and mistrust in voters.

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