National Disability Voter Registration Week Promotes Election Access

This week, the American Association of People with Disabilities’ REV UP campaign is organizing nationwide activities to encourage individuals with disabilities to register to vote, and to highlight issues related to voter access and turnout. This National Disability Voter Registration Week initiative features state and local registration drives and extensive media outreach to promote broader civic participation and to encourage policymakers to make the electoral process more accessible for all voters.

The REV UP website directs users to online voter registration sites where available and includes links to each state’s registration application. Pew recently reported on tools that can help states optimize online registration websites to make them more accessible to all voters, including those with disabilities. Voters can also access registration sites and information for all states via the federal government’s site.

Historically, turnout is disproportionately lower among individuals with disabilities than among those without a reported disability. In 2000, 42 percent of eligible individuals with disabilities voted, compared with 52 percent of those without; in 2012, turnout among individuals with disabilities reached 56.8 percent, compared with 62.5 percent of the remaining eligible population.

The REV UP campaign website also offers free social media toolkits and other resources to help stakeholders and the public support the registration initiative.

Samuel Derheimer manages and Keara Castaldo is a research associate for election initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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Kelly Hoffman