Bexar County voters now have accessible vote by mail option

Posted on

computer keyboard with red enter key that says, "vote"Blind and low-vision registered voters in Bexar County can vote absentee in a secure, accessible manner this year for the first time.

To vote using the new electronic accessible ballot by mail option for the upcoming election, you must apply by October 27, 2023. Here is what you need to do:

Learn more about the OmniBallot Electronic Absentee Ballot and get further instructions on downloading the above forms.

Information Session via Zoom

Join the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and Disability Rights Texas on Monday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m. Central Time for an information session on the accessible Ballot by Mail and other voting changes this year. Join the meeting in one of the following ways:

Meeting ID: 984 4620 1963. Captions and Spanish will be available.

Why This Just Became Available

In 2022, 3 blind voters – Larry Johnson, Wendy Walker and Amelia Pellicciotti – along with the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, filed suit against Bexar County in federal court. The complaint alleges violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiffs are represented by Disability Rights Texas, Winston & Strawn, LLP, and Eve Hill of the Baltimore firm of Brown Goldstein & Levy.

Other federal courts have held that the ADA applies to all aspects of a jurisdiction’s voting program, including mail-in ballots specifically.

Due to these advocacy efforts, the Court issued a Permanent Injunctive Order on July 27, 2023. Bexar County only recently put the accessible electronic system in place. The order states:

“Beginning with the November 7, 2023, election, and for all future elections within the term of this Permanent Injunction, Defendants Bexar County, Texas and Bexar County Elections Administrator, Jacquelyn Callanen, in her official capacity, shall ensure that an electronic remote accessible vote-by-mail system (“RAVBM”) is available to blind voters in time for the start of absentee voting for the election in Bexar County.”

Your Voice Makes a Difference

Voting in any election is important because it provides citizens with the opportunity to voice their opinion about elected leaders and policies. Your voice matters even more this year because the success of the accessible absentee program may affect whether it is made available in future elections and in other counties.

Know Your Voting Rights

Visit the Disability Rights Texas Voting Rights Resources webpage to learn more about all of your voting rights.