Press release

American Diabetes Association® Fights for Alabama Voters with Diabetes

October 6, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

Alabama District Court Rules Barriers to Voting Unconstitutional, ADA to Defend Against State Appeal

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the nation’s leading organization for all people living with diabetes, filed an amicus brief today to help defend the rights of Alabama voters with diabetes following a historic federal court ruling prioritizing the health and safety of voters living with chronic conditions. In a move demonstrating callous disregard for its citizens, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and the other defendants have appealed the judge’s ruling, prompting the ADA, along with AARP, to file the brief in response.

On September 30, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama blocked the state from requiring voters to submit a copy of their photo ID and two adult witnesses’ or a notary public’s signature in order to vote by mail – onerous measures that would force many Alabamians with diabetes and other chronic conditions to violate social distancing guidelines and put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19 in order to vote. The court also ruled to stop Secretary Merrill from barring polling places from offering curbside voting, the safest way for voters facing heightened health risks during the pandemic to exercise their civic duty in person.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit will hear the State’s appeal and motion to stay the District Court’s ruling.

“The barriers rightly struck down by the judge, in this case, would have dealt double injustices to Alabamians facing the greatest risk in the wake of COVID-19,” said Tracey D. Brown, CEO of the ADA. “Not only would these barriers force many to choose between voting and their health, but because of the outsized impact of diabetes and other chronic conditions on underserved and minority communities, they would also effectively disenfranchise low-income Alabamians and people of color. I’m glad to see the court protecting our most vulnerable citizens. The ADA will continue to fight for their rights through the election this November and beyond.”


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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).