New Law Makes It Easier For Handicaped To Register To Vote

Donna Whitty doesn't have problems signing her name. But Whitty says for some blind people, writing can be a huge barrier.

"Either they never learned as a blind person how to write, or sometimes as adults, when you lose your sight as an adult, you're not comfortable going back and being able to write when you can't see it," Whitty said.

When you can write, registering to vote is not a problem, but for some Mississippians that's not the case.

"There are people with disabilities that physically cannot sign their name, and up to this point when you went to register to vote, if you could not sign your own name you were not allowed to register to vote."

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove used his own signature to take down those barriers. Musgrove signed a bill into law letting physically disabled people register to vote by allowing the circuit clerk to sign for them.

"This is just one more positive step in allowing citizens with disabilities greater ease to exercise their right as Mississippians," Jackson resident Christy Gilliland said.

Disabled Mississippians say not only can they now exercise their rights as citizens, but this new law also removes some humiliation.

"It's particularly humiliating if the clerk says no, I can't do that, therefore you can't register to vote," Witty said.

Donna Whitty says this law is just one more step to providing equal opportunities for all Mississippians.