It’s Not Political, It’s Access: The Disability Community Supports Easier Voting Access

I Voted Today stickerWhile selfishly I’ve always thought people with disabilities – the community of which I identify – were more “thoughtful,” specifically in our opinion of access, now I can proclaim our thoughtfulness as fact!

As a Project Manager for Change for Balance, a boutique strategic communications company, and as a self-proclaimed “connector,” I brought together our client, Easterseals, with my friends at AARP with the idea of commissioning a voter survey among our two shared constituencies – people with disabilities and older Americans aged 50+.

And guess what? We did it! You can check out the full results of the Easterseals and AARP survey here.

But, if you’ll allow me to get straight to the results this “connector” found interesting, stick with me.

With strong bipartisan support – I just knew this would be true – people with disabilities aged 50+ support expanding voting access, including voting by mail, voting absentee, and ballot drop boxes.

While much of the media pits the major parties at odds on many issues, fundamental access to voting is a united issue for people with disabilities 50 and older. For a very diverse and intersectional population, that’s nice. Simply put, it’s not political – it’s all about access!

Tony Coelho, the esteemed former United States Congressman and primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, puts it perfectly “Voting access is not politically motivated as it is supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. In that regard it’s like passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Another interesting result – and this applies mostly to in-person voting – is when given a list of multiple accommodation options, 43% of respondents say they utilize an accommodation when voting.

I’m not good with math, but 43% of what is expected to be 30 million people with disabilities 50+ voting in the midterm election is a lot!  Those who require just a little extra help will cast their ballot.

While this survey reveals many other important issues to the disability and older American groups, including inflation and other pocketbook issues, a resounding number of people just want access.

Unfortunately, as discovered in previous conversations with my friends at Rutgers University, it’s likely there are a number of people with disabilities who don’t participate in the elections because of accessibility barriers. “If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as everyone else, there would be 1.75 million more voters,” said Lisa Schur, professor, and co-director of the Rutgers Program for Disability Research.

We know it, Rutgers reinforces it – at the end of the day, the disability community wants greater access, from restaurants to airlines to casting our ballots. And, when we have it, we damn sure will participate!


 

Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.


Please read our community guidelines when posting comments.


  1. world of mario Says:

    While balancing the project management triangle is a lot like juggling, it is also a constant reminder of how changing one constraint will cast an impact on the entire project.


Leave a Reply