DisBeat Issues Top 5 Reasons to Pay Close Attention to the Disability Community's Voter Registration Work

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DisBeat Issues Top 5 Reasons to Pay Close Attention to the Disability Community's Voter Registration Work

There are 59 million Americans with disabilities. As the nation ramps up for the DNC and RNC conventions this month, the disability community is mobilizing national disability voter registration week. July 11-15th. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! It is a state-by-state GOTV organized campaign coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities(AAPD). Crip The Vote is an online GOTV project and DO Network is a California based group getting out the disability vote.

Below are the top five reasons to pay close attention to the disability community’s voter registration work:

5. The disability community has a huge stake in state and federal results of the November election. Justin Dart, father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), said “Vote as if your life depended on it, because it does.”

4. At a level that has never been achieved before, national and state disability organizations are actively registering voters and planning get out the DISABILITY VOTE activities leading up to Election Day. These include the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), #CripTheVote, the DO Network, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), REV UP Massachusetts, REV UP Texas, the Texas Disability Project, http://votedisability.net/voting/ , and several other state and local disability rights organizations.

3. REV UP campaigns have kicked off in several states with more joining daily. California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and DC are actively organizing the DISABILITY VOTE.

2. National and local elections will be affected as the political power of the disability community increases by getting more people with disabilities registered and committed to vote on election day while simultaneously engaging candidates for public office and the media on disability issues. While currently focused on the upcoming election, the REV UP Campaign is committed to continuing to engage people with disabilities in communities across the country through 2016 and beyond.

1. There are nearly 30 million people with disabilities eligible to vote when registered. This number does not even include “the ripple effect” of family, friends, and service professionals who will vote in-line with disability interests. During National Disability Voter Registration Week, Campaigns around the country will make a concerted effort to get more people with disabilities registered to vote, educate voters about issues and candidates, promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country, engage candidates and the media on disability issues, and protect eligible voters’ right to participate in elections.

For more information on the disability vote, National Disability Voter Registration Week, and how to start organizing in your state please see links below. There are a host of resources on the 2016 election, registering to vote, ways to drive civic engagement, and a compilation of state-specific resources and events.

Resources/links

  • Rev UP – AAPD/RevUP lists state activities, has links to  register, information on voting and more. www.aapd.com/REVUP
  • DisBeat – A compilation of news from the disability perspective, including a voting issues page.
  • The Election Toolkit – The Center for Technology and Civil Life (CTCL) created a website that holds a collection of free (or cheap) tools that are built for you to use to increase civic engagement — turnout, voter registration — and to smooth operations in polling places.
  • Calling All Siblings: Share Your Stories! – The Sibling Leadership Network is collecting stories on how individuals have helped their siblings with disabilities vote.
  • REV UP New Jersey –July 14 call in day to urge Trump campaign to issue a disability policy statement
  • Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC) Letter to Candidates – IDAC is mobilizing people of faith to sign a letter encouraging candidates to address disability concerns in their campaigns. Sign-on now!
  • Rooted In Rights – Watch a video and read through an informative page on how to register, where to learn about the candidates and issues, and how to find other resources. Check it out!
  • #CripTheVote – View their Election 2016 Voter Guide for information on registering, learning your Primary Election date, finding your polling place, and how to overcome any accessibility challenges that arise. as well as blogs on Voting, Disabled Youth, & #CripTheVote and Disability Advocacy and Twitter: Why Use it?. You can also join the conversation online with #CripTheVote.
  • Know Your Right To Vote – The Arc has compiled a resource on knowing your voting rights as a person with a disability.
  • Election Assistance Commission – The national clearinghouse of information on election administration, from voting system testing and certification to data on how Americans voted in recent federal elections.Click here to learn more about voting accessibility.
  • DO NETWORKVote Disability http://votedisability.net/voting/ 
  • Vote411.org and the League of Women Voters – Voter registration deadlines vary by state – find out the deadline for your state to be sure you register in time!
  • Election Protection – Visit www.866ourvote.org or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) if you have any issues or concerns related to Election Day.
  • YO! Disabled and Proud – Take part in a voting survey specifically by and for youth with disabilities.
  • One Vote Now – Partner project of NACDD and DREDF to enhance the voting bloc of people with disabilities. Visit their site for information on voting, registration, and polling place accessibility.
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law – Information on guardianship and voting. Learn more!
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) – Information and resources on guardianship and voting, a Voter Education Toolkit, and GoVoter.
  • Long Distance Voter – Website where you can request an absentee ballot as well as view the deadline to register in each state.
  • TurboVoteAn application that makes voting easy. Sign up to keep track of your elections, local and national. You can also get registered, update your voter registration, or request an absentee ballot.
  • Respectability Report - Nonpartisan political commentary on 2016 elections with a focus on disability issues.