People with Disabilities Get Out the Vote
By Dr. Glenn Motola
An estimated 38 million eligible voters have disabilities. Now more than ever, it is important for this diverse group of voters to participate in the electoral process. Just like people without disabilities, they are affected by the propositions and candidates on the ballot. The measures that pass or fail can impact how, and if, people with disabilities access and participate in the programs and services they depend on to realize their full potential.
Voters with disabilities are an often overlooked voting bloc that could significantly impact an election. And for decades, they have had to overcome barriers to voting – from registration to accessing information about the issues and candidates to getting to the polls. This year, the fear of contracting COVID-19 waiting in line at the polls is yet another barrier. We need to make sure our friends and family members with disabilities have the opportunity to vote safely.
What’s at Stake
New projections from researchers at Rutgers University estimate that one-quarter of the total electorate is eligible voters who have a disability and members of households of people with disabilities. The disenfranchisement of even a small fraction of these eligible voters could swing an election. That’s why we’re sharing information about the “We Are the 25%” voting initiative from our friends at Easter Seals. We have partnered with Easter Seals, Southern California to raise awareness of the importance of the disability vote and ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to cast their ballots.
Visit wearethe25.org for more information, social media posts, accessible voting tools and valuable resources. Be sure to check out the special, “We Will Be Heard” video featuring activists with disabilities and associates, too!
You can also click here to make sure your local polling place is in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
We all play an important role in making our community one of inclusivity, acceptance and love. This year more than any other year, our collective well-being, dignity and sense of humanity depend on it. Lend your voice to help make sure our diverse disability community is well-informed and empowered to take action this election season. After all, we are the 25%.
Glenn Motola, Psy. D. is Chief Executive Officer at Reimagine