Posted by Harry Leeser on July 15, 2016
This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week!
The American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP! campaign organized National Disability Voter Registration Week from July 11th-15th to raise awareness of barriers impacting the right to vote of people with disabilities and encourage them to register ahead of the upcoming election in November. The REV UP! Campaign and National Disability Voter Registration Week are new this year, and this week was selected as a lead-in to the annual celebration of the American Disabilities Act.
Americans with disabilities are a group that suffers from low voter registration. For many, registering to vote is not easy. People with disabilities are less likely to register because many of them need assistance filling out the required paperwork, or simply never receive information and education about how to register and the importance of voting, because reaching them can be difficult if they are forced to spend much of their time at home.
A great way to address solve the problem of voter registration is universal voter registration. Under an opt-out system, every American who is legally allowed to vote is automatically registered by the government and put on the voter rolls, unless they specifically request to not be registered. This would significantly lower the barriers towards participation in our democracy for not just citizens with disabilities, but all Americans, making elections more accessible to all.