REV UP for National Disability Voter Registration Week
By Zach Baldwin, American Association of People with Disabilities
There are over 35 million people with disabilities who are eligible to vote in the U.S. This number increases to over 62 million when we include family members in the same household, according to Rutgers University. The number of "disability voters" continues to grow when we consider the ripple effect of the disability vote that connects families, friends, advocates, educators, providers and other individuals that interact with people with disabilities. There is incredible potential for the disability community to bring disability issues to the forefront of elections and to hold elected officials accountable for policies and decisions that affect people with disabilities. It all starts with getting more people with disabilities registered to vote and REVed UP to cast a ballot.
People with Disabilities Could Pack an electoral Punch
Despite this potential power and influence, only 16 million people with disabilities voted in the November 2016 elections, 6% lower than the voter turnout rate of people without disabilities. Similarly, the voter registration rate for people with disabilities was 2% lower than that of people without disabilities in 2016. If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.2 million more voters in America.
The disability community has incredible potential to influence the outcome of elections and ensure that all candidates address issues that are important to people with disabilities. Getting registered to vote is the first step to mobilize and demonstrate the power of the disability vote!
The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state and local disability organizations to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
National Disability Voter Registration Week July 16-20
The REV UP Campaign is coordinating National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) 2018 during the week of July 16-20 to make a concerted effort to get people with disabilities registered to vote, educated about this year's election, and prepared to cast a ballot in November. Through numerous events and activities around the country during this time, we also hope to garner attention from media and candidates. Moving forward, we plan to hold NDVRW annually in the third week of July, just before the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
You can get involved by organizing your own voter registration event or just by making sure your friends, family and colleagues are registered to vote. The 2018 National Disability Voter Registration Week Toolkit includes a guide on how to organize voter registration events, ideas on other ways to participate in NDVRW, sample social media posts and graphics and other resources. If you are planning voter registration events or other activities, please keep the REV UP Campaign updated on your efforts. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the year, we'll continually update our State Resources and Events page so you can find resources specific to your state as well as events in your area.
For more information on the REV UP Campaign and National Disability Voter Registration Week, visithttps://www.aapd.com/NDVRW. The REV UP Campaign also offers a host of information on registering to vote, ways to drive civic engagement, and state-specific resources and events, including a national Issues Guide, Candidate Questionnaire Template, Candidate Forum Guide and Election Accessibility Toolkit.
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