July 17 – 21, 2017 - National Disability Voter Registration Week Begins
This week kicks off National Disability Voter Registration Week with events and roundtable discussions throughout the country to call attention and collate efforts on local, state, and national levels to make the disability vote more influential.
National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) is coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) REV UP Campaign that launched in early 2016. AADP works through a nonpartisan agenda to enhance the quality of the voting process for persons with disabilities. Through the REV UP campaign, or Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Campaign, the goal, particularly during this week, is to increase the political power of people with disabilities, and to interact with candidates and the media to recognize the disability community. NDVRW also aims to share information on the importance of having accessible ballots and polling places in jurisdictions to accommodate the needs of all eligible voters.
AAPD’s website provides a list of rights that one has as an American voter with a disability:
- Vote privately and independently
- Have an accessible polling place with voting machines for voters with disabilities
- Wheelchair-accessible voting booths
- Entrances and doorways that are at least 32 inches wide
- Handrails on all stairs
- Voting equipment that is accessible to voters who are blind or who have low vision
- Bring your service animal with you into your polling place
- Seek assistance from workers at the polling place who have been trained to use the accessible voting machine
- Bring someone to help you vote (including a friend, family member, caregiver, assisted living provider, or almost anyone else, but not your employer or union representative)
By working with local, state, and national organizations, the REV UP campaign provides countless resources and tools for approximately 35 million people with disabilities that are currently eligible to vote. A “live” list of state resources and events can be found on AAPD’s website where one can view their state’s involvement with the REV UP campaign, as well as upcoming events in the state.
This year REV UP has partnered with EveryLibrary. EveryLibrary is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization chartered to work on local library ballot initiatives, and the first and only organization dedicated exclusively to political action to protect funding for libraries of all types.
Through their partnership, REV UP supplied free materials and online access to support NDVRW. Every Library has sought out non-partisan voter registration groups to orchestrate voter registration drives at the participating libraries across the nation. The hundreds of participating libraries also provide programming, outreach, and public education to support NDVRW.