Report Finds People with Disabilities Are a Significant Voting Bloc
35.4 million Americans with disabilities, nearly 16% of the electorate, will be eligible to vote this November. This sizeable share of eligible voters means that votes cast by people with disabilities could significantly influence election outcomes this year. This is all according to a new report: "Projecting the Number of Eligible Voters with Disabilities in the November 2016 Elections" from Rutgers University. Other highlights of the report include:
Related article about Disabled and Voting
My brother loves politics. But he thought his disability meant he couldn't vote. And I'd never thought to ask him.
- There will be 62.7 million eligible voters who either have a disability or have a household member with a disability, more than one-fourth of the total electorate.
- The total number of eligible voters with disabilities (35.4 million) exceeds the total number of eligible voters who are African American (28.7 million) or Hispanic/Latino (29.5 million).
- 20.2 million eligible voters will have mobility disabilities, 12.2 million will have cognitive disabilities, 10.6 million will have hearing disabilities, and 6.3 million will have visual disabilities.
Learn about Fairfax County's Election Services for People with Disabilities, or register to vote in this year's election. The deadline to register to vote in Virginia is October 17, 2016.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revised its checklist for polling place accessibility
to reflect the latest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The checklist includes helpful tips on how to evaluate the accessibility of a polling place, as well as ideas for inexpensive temporary solutions that may facilitate access to voting.
The humble and resilient traffic cone can mark off temporary accessible parking places or passenger loading zones. A portable ramp, temporary signage, or a simple door stop to prop open a heavy door may make all the difference on Election Day. These kinds of measures may make it possible to use an otherwise inaccessible location (including a facility not subject to the ADA, such as a religious organization's building) as a polling place. DOJ's updated checklist for polling place accessibility is available in electronic and PDF formats.
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Every polling place in Fairfax County is equipped with ballot marking devices Expressvotes, which are designed to provide voters with disabilities the opportunity to cast their vote unassisted.
Fairfax County's Office of Elections has a comprehensive website for voters with disabilities.