When politicians court various demographic groups, they often overlook voters with disabilities even though an estimated 20 percent of Americans have a disability.
But people with disabilities are beginning to make their voices heard. Voter turnout among people with disabilities in the 2018 midterms was nearly 50 percent, according to researchers at Rutgers University.
In a Time Magazine article, the researchers were quoted as saying that “while the number of disabled voters in 2018 was clearly significant, there was still a 4.7 point gap in turnout between those with disabilities and those without, meaning there is potential for the disability vote to carry even more weight. If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as similar people without disabilities, there would be 2.35 million more voters.”
People within the disabilities community say that disability-related issues beyond health care – such as employment, transportation and housing – don’t get much attention in political campaigns. They also point out that none of the 2020 presidential candidates began their campaigns with fully accessible web sites.
What do people with disabilities in your community say? And how are candidates responding?
For more information:
Time Magazine: https://time.com/5622652/disability-voter-turnout-2020/
By Susan LoTempio, board member, National Center on Disability and Journalism
Contact Susan on Twitter @slotempio or via email at email@example.com.