Legislation across the country would restrict voting methods and accommodations that people with disabilities are disproportionately likely to rely on.
The experience was so demeaning that Susie Angel did not vote again for two decades.
It was 1991, she recalled, and she was a 21-year-old learning to live independently with cerebral palsy, which she has had since birth. She waited in line at her polling place in Austin, Texas, for hours. Then she waited for a poll worker who could help her complete her ballot. Finally, the worker refused to take her aside, making her name her preferred candidates in full view and earshot of other voters.
Ms. Angel, who has limited use of her limbs and a speech impairment and uses a foot-operated power wheelchair, left understanding that, unlike other Americans, she couldn’t vote privately. It was only when she began working for the Coalition of Texans With Disabilities in 2010, and learned about the adaptive equipment available to her, that she was able to vote independently — an experience that brought her to tears.
Now, Ms. Angel is watching the Texas Legislature pursue sweeping voting restrictions, afraid that she and others with disabilities might again be deterred from voting.