Get Out the Vote

May 06, 2024

Tomorrow is an extremely important day in the United States: Election Day. It’s our chance to help elect leaders who care about issues that matter to people with disabilities and their families. Voting is an important way for us to create positive change in our communities and beyond. The more we vote, the more powerful our voices become.

Unfortunately, many voters with disabilities experience multiple challenges when trying to cast a ballot.

According to a recent Rutgers University study, more than 2 million voters with disabilities reported facing some type of difficulty casting a ballot in 2022.

Increased restrictions and voter suppression laws enacted since then only contribute to these challenges.

If someone you care about with disabilities wants to vote early or on Election Day, they’ll likely have to navigate a complex web of state and local election rules and deadlines regarding voter registration, absentee ballots, and being assisted by someone at the polls. Here is valuable information to help them understand their rights and to help you support and encourage young people with disabilities to register or confirm a voter registration. Knowledge and preparation are vital.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Voting Rights Act, require election workers to make polling places fully accessible to voters with disabilities. Additionally:

  • People who need assistance when voting by reason of disability or limited English proficiency must be able to choose the person who assists them, with few exceptions.

  • The right to vote cannot be conditioned on a voter’s ability to read or write or on a similar test of cognitive capabilities.

  • Each polling place in federal elections must have at least one accessible voting machine that enables voters with disabilities to cast a secret, independent ballot.

Is your polling place operating in compliance with ADA? If not, how can you advocate for necessary improvements and adherence to the law? Once Election Day is over, there’s much more work to be done. What will you do to help?

a hand holding a red button that says i vote

Another Normal is a newsletter dedicated to helping families with disabilities bloom and thrive. The archive of issues includes curated news and information on topics such as employment, independent living, government supports, disability rights, sexuality, travel, recreation and more.

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