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Southern Poverty Law Center: Alabama Man Fights Voter Suppression of People with DisabilitiesMarch 16, 2021
A spotlight shared by the Southern Poverty Law Center notes that O’Melveny joined the organization in filing a lawsuit against the Alabama government last year arguing the state’s voting rules inhibited disabled citizens like Eric Peebles, a man whose spastic cerebral palsy confines him to a wheelchair and makes him highly vulnerable to the coronavirus, from safely casting their ballots in elections.
“These great obstacles we are seeing to voting right now for people like me just illustrate something that has been below the surface for most folks for many years,” Peebles said. “Voting can empower people with disabilities to ensure their full potential, with autonomy and independence. The restrictions on voting for the disabled are just now getting the sunshine of public scrutiny.”
While the lawsuit was successful in district court, where judges waived suppressive witness and photo ID requirements for absentee ballots, the ruling was subsequently stayed by appellate courts, wrote SPLC, noting that the unfortunate decision “was the beginning of the struggle, not the end.”
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