Buncombe County election workers prepare mail ballots for review by the county’s elections board in late September. File photo by Victoria Loe Hicks / Carolina Public Press

Virginia Knowlton Marcus, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Rights North Carolina and Kendra Johnson, Executive Director for Equality NC talked with host Stephanie Carson about issues surrounding voting access.

Absentee ballots are already being received and early voting starts next week, but there are a group of voters who, some fear, may lack access to the polls.

Reports and studies indicate that Black and Brown, LGBTQ and individuals living with disabilities are the most disproportionately affected communities by COVID-19 and therefore have a critical need for PPE while navigating the voting process armed with trusted information and resource.

Also discussed, a development in a lawsuit filed in July of this year by a coalition of groups including Disability Rights Advocates, Disability Rights North Carolina, the North Carolina Council of the Blind, the Governor Morehead School Alumni Association, Inc., and several North Carolina voters with disabilities.

The suit claims that discrimination against voters with disabilities is caused by the inaccessibility of the print-based Absentee Voting Program. The NC Board of Elections anticipates that accessible absentee voting should be available by October 19, but has not described how that will work.

You can read our latest election coverage at at this link.

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Stephanie Carson is the former news and community partnerships manager at Carolina Public Press.