Register to Vote!
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission provides guidance on voter registration, helpful tips, and resources.
SLN Voting Position Statement
The SLN believes in supporting our siblings to exercise their rights to vote. We’ve written the SLN Voting Position Statement to officially declare our support for all people to vote.
SLN Supporting Siblings in Voting Video
We have also created a video that discusses how siblings can support their brothers and sisters with disabilities to vote: Check it out!
The Disability Vote – Videos and Resources from Rooted in Rights
Voting Assistance Center for People with Disabilities
Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), the national self advocacy organization for people with developmental disabilities announced non-partisan materials and resources that are user friendly for everyone interested in the voting process. SABE’s National Technical Assistance Center for Voting and Cognitive Access (NTAC) invites people who want to learn about voting to their website. Both new and experienced voters can select topics they are interested in learning about and resources to help them. We want organizations and groups to be able to support people with disabilities to become better informed about the importance of their vote and how to increase voting in their community.
National Technical Assistance Center for Voting and Cognitive Access: http://www.govoter.org/
The Project VOTE! Voter Education Toolkit is a guide created by leaders in the self advocacy movement to help people teach voter education trainings in their communities. The Voter Education Toolkit includes 8-10 hours of training about registering to vote, voter rights and responsibilities, how to learn about candidates and issues, different ways that people vote, and how to increase partnerships between self-advocacy groups and protection and advocacy organization.
Siblings on Voting
Information for Voters with Disabilities
Read about a poll of voters with disabilities that was taken in 2014.
Read about The Voting Rights Act.
And read about the progress still needed under The Voting Rights Act
Presidential Panel Calls for Improved Voting Accessibility
The Presidental Commission on Election Administration has put out a report that gives recommendations and best practices for voting accessibility. Check out an article about the report on Disability Scoop.
Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle
BACKGROUND AND SCOPE OF REPORT
Voting is the cornerstone of democracy. For too long, people with disabilities have been in the shadows in exercising this basic civil right. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA), enacted in 2002, mandated improvements to the electoral process by establishing minimum standards for uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements, including, for the first time, requirements that citizens with disabilities be able to vote independently and privately. HAVA joins existing voting and disability rights laws to prohibit voter discrimination, suppression, intimidation, and denial of voting access for people with disabilities. Since 2002, HAVA has helped make voting an act of civic participation for people with disabilities; however much work remains to be done.
Using an open-ended questionnaire, NCD gathered the experiences of nearly 900 voters with disabilities across the nation during the 2012 election. On October 24, 2013, the National Council on Disability released Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle. This report provides a snapshot of architectural, attitudinal, technological, legislative, and voting practice barriers that confronted voters with disabilities and provides an overview of the use of federal funds, activities, and outcomes under HAVA for people with disabilities over the past decade.
- People with disabilities continue to face barriers in exercising their voting rights because of architectural and physical barriers at registration and polling sites.
- Nearly 40% of respondents to the NCD’s questionnaire encountered physical barriers at their polling places.
- Voters with disabilities do not have equal access to voting systems because states and localities have not invested adequate resources, planning, and training to provide reliable, accessible voting technology.
- 45% of respondents reported barriers inside the polling place involving voting machines.
- Voters with disabilities face discrimination at voter registration and polling sites resulting from poorly trained election personnel and volunteers.
- Nearly 54% of respondents encountered barriers, including attitudinal, inside the polling place.
- 20% of respondents said they were prevented from exercising a private and independent vote.
- State and local election officials must be held accountable for compliance with all accessibility provisions of HAVA, the ADA, and other relevant voting rights laws.
- States should upgrade their accessible voting equipment to assure universal access for people with disabilities.
- State and local election officials must invest in adequate training for all election personnel and volunteers.
- The Presidential Commission on Election Administration should adopt the recommendations made in the Experience of Voters with Disabilities report in their own report to the President later this year.
Click to download a free copy of the full report.
“Power in Numbers: A Profile of American Voters with Disabilities” Report
The Youth Transitions Collaborative of the HSC Foundation has released “Power in Numbers: A Profile of American Voters with Disabilities,” providing a new perspective on the voting population by examining a group of individuals often ignored. Read the executive summary.
In 2012, 72% of voting age individuals with disabilities voted in the presidential election, compared to 57.5% of the general population. What proves to be even more interesting than the general numbers of voting constituents is the fact that 87% of voters with disabilities would consider changing their vote (and 45% would definitely change their vote) if a politician was cutting programs for people with disabilities.
Voters with disabilities were found to split along party lines comparably to voters without disabilities, with 30% of the disability community affiliating as a Democrat (compared to the 31% of the general population) and 23% affiliating as a Republican (compared to 26% of the general population). Ultimately, party affiliations did not have an effect on picking politicians who best represented the disability agenda.
These findings help show that people with disabilities are increasing their political voice and are currently participating in politics more than voters without disabilities; voters with disabilities placed healthcare as the most important issue to them, with the economy following, while voters without disabilities placed the economy above healthcare. It is important to acknowledge the similarities and differences of the goals of people with and without disabilities in order to work together to achieve our goals.
Voting Rights for People with Mental Health Disabilities
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the National Disability Rights Network have put out A Voting Guide to the Rights of People with Mental Disabilities.
The report focuses on four areas of concern to voters with mental
(1) voter-competence requirements imposed by state
laws or by election officials or service providers,
(2) state photo-ID
(3) voter challenges and
(4) providing help to voters with
A final section describes the relationship between
federal and state laws in this area.