This Week is Disability Voting Rights Week!

September 8, 2022Lillie Heyman and Israel Harris

September began National Voter Registration Month and this week is Disability Voting Rights Week (formerly known as National Disability Voter Registration Week)! This week, coordinated by American Association of People with Disabilities' (AAPD) REV UP Voting Campaign, is a national, nonpartisan initiative dedicated to building the power and presence of the disability vote by getting people with disabilities registered and ready to vote, and spearheading voter education and community engagement opportunities, and more! The RAC, with our Every Voice, Every Vote Campaign, is excited to be a partner!

There are over 38 million people with disabilities who are eligible to vote. However, discriminatory voting practices in the form of limited voter registration locations, resources, and assistance make voting inaccessible and exclude millions of Americans from our democracy, leading to a turnout gap between voters with and without disabilities. Ways to expand voter access include providing the necessary assistance for voters to complete their registration forms; ensuring that disabled individuals have equitable access to absentee ballots and applications through electronic accessibility and permitting no-excuse vote by mail for every eligible voter; ensuring that all polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities and considering in-person alternatives to address long wait times at polling places, such as curbside voting, mobile polling sites or an expedited line for voters with disabilities and older voters; and ensuring that voting systems, including ballot marking devices and voter-verifiable paper ballots are accessible while preserving privacy and independence. Access to the ballot is crucial for people with disabilities, as elections across the country will impact access to health care, financial security, the ability to live in community, and so much more.

The Every Voice, Every Vote campaign and the Reform Movement are committed to strengthening democracy by encouraging voter engagement and fighting voter suppression to increase access to the ballot, so that every voice is heard. Our democracy is strongest when everyone participates and suffers when citizens are shut out from the democratic process. Guided by our Jewish tradition, we are taught that the selection of our leaders is not a privilege but a collective responsibility, and we are obligated to stand up for the widow, the poor, the orphan, and the stranger. We are committed to expanding and protecting the rights for all Americans.

Resources: Take Action!

  • Check your registration status or register to vote!
  • Know your rights: Learn more about how to exercise your voting rights, resist voter intimidation efforts, and access disability-related accommodations and language assistance at the polls
  • Get involved in the Every Voice, Every Vote campaign to strengthen our democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation
    • Join our Every Voice, Every Vote: Every Week GOTV phonebank calls
      • With New Georgia Project and Commemorating Disability Voting Rights week on Wednesday, September 14 @5:15-8:30pm EST
      • For High School Voter Registration Week for a youth relational organizing training on Wednesday, September 21 @8-9pm EST
      • With Detroit Jews for Justice and JALSA, working to expand reproductive rights in Michigan on Wednesday, October 26 timing TBD
      • Every Wednesday at 8pm EST
  • Stay informed: provides specific voter information based on your state and includes resources such as voter ID laws and provisions for voters with disabilities
  • SignVote: SignVote is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing community-based GOTV mobilization effort. They have resources and instructional videos in American Sign Language
  • Learn from disability rights activist Emily Ladau: Join Emily and the URJ for Creating Cultures of Disability Including - real talk on how to be a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people within your communities and congregations on Monday, September 12 @1pm EST

Save the Date: Up Next!

For more information about our Every Voice, Every Vote Campaign, you can contact Campaign Manager Jacob Kraus-Preminger. For more information about voting rights, you can contact Legislative Assistant Israel Harris.

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