Monday, July 15 - Friday, July 19 is National Disability Voter Registration Week, organized by the American Association of People with Disabilities and a coalition of other disability organizations. Here is some information on this week focusing on voter registration for people with disabilities:
Facts and resources about people with disabilities and voting:
* In a study of 2018 election participation of people with disabilities, Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse of Rutgers University report:
* 14.3 disabled people voted in the 2018 Midterm Elections. That’s an 8.5% increase over the 2014 Midterm Elections.
* Despite the recent increase, the voting rate for people with disabilities is still 4.7% lower than for non-disabled people. If disabled people voted at the same rate, there would be well over 2 million more votes from disabled people.
* Another 10.2 million voters were not themselves disabled, but had people with disabilities in their households … husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents. That means there were 24.5 million voters in 2018 who were either disabled or had close experience of disability issues. That’s about 20% of all votes cast in 2018 … a very significant voting bloc.
* A recent Time Magazine article discussed the growing importance of voters with disabilities in elections.
* People with any disabilities are eligible to vote, provided they meet the usual citizenship and age requirements. The right to vote can only be legally restricted by order of a Judge. If you or someone you know is under legal guardianship but would like to vote, they can explore having their right to vote restored.
* Polling places should be physically accessible, and have voting mechanisms that are accessible to blind, visually impaired, and physically impaired people. Some disabled people may, if they choose, request a mail-in absentee ballot, but that does not lessen the obligation for polling sites to be accessible.
* If transportation is an issue, and you want to vote, it’s best to make arrangements well ahead of election day.
* You may be asked to provide identification at your polling site. A driver’s license, passport, or non-driver ID will suffice.
If you have any difficulty voting, or anyone tries to prevent you from voting, call your Board of Elections: Clinton Co. 518-565-4740, Essex Co. 518-873-3474, Franklin Co. 518-481-1663.
You can learn more about checking your voter registration, and registering to vote at these links:
You can also register at the NCCI offices any time during business hours.