WilmerHale Achieved a Significant Victory for Voters with Disabilities in Wisconsin 

WilmerHale Achieved a Significant Victory for Voters with Disabilities in Wisconsin 

Client News

Earlier this week, WilmerHale successfully obtained a temporary injunction on behalf of Disability Rights Wisconsin, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and individual voters with print disabilities. The ruling, issued by a Wisconsin state judge, requires municipal clerks to provide accessible, electronic absentee ballots by email to voters who self-certify they have a print disability that prevents them from reading or marking a paper ballot.

Previously, voters with such print disabilities who voted by absentee at home were forced to rely on an assistant to read and mark their paper ballot, requiring them to disclose their political preferences and compelling them to relinquish their state constitutional right to vote by a secret ballot.  This, Plaintiffs argued, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and state and federal constitutional law.

The injunction requires the defendant, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, to make accessible electronic absentee ballots available, by email, for the November 2024 General Election, which will allow voters with print disabilities to vote privately and independently, just as all other Wisconsin voters are able to do. The ruling came only one day after a hearing on the motion in Dane County Circuit Court in Wisconsin.

The WilmerHale team consisted of Bob Gunther, Chris Noyes, Omar Khan, Sara Hershman, Jared Grubow, Megan Gardner, Trena Riley and summer associate Meredith Baum.



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