Impact of the Disability Vote

Square graphic with a white background. Blue text says, “38.3 Million people with disabilities are eligible to vote.” Beneath the text is a graphic of a blue box with red text that says, “VOTE.” A pink slip of paper with a gray check mark is going into the box. On the right is another square graphic with white text saying “Voters with disabilities make up 16.3% of the total electorate.” Beneath the text is a red and orange pie chart that shows that eligible voters make up a slice of the electorate.

How big is the Disability Voting Bloc?

The disability community in the United States is made up of over 61 million people across all communities, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and ages. More than 38 million people with disabilities are eligible to vote, which is close to one out of every 6 voters. This makes voters with disabilities one of the largest voting blocs.

However, voters with disabilities vote at a lower rate than people without disabilities and are twice as likely to face barriers when voting. In 2020, there was a 6% turnoutt gap between voters with and without disabilities. And this turnout gap has been consistent over the last decade or so of elections. REV UP works to close the turnout gap and make sure Americans with disabilities have access to our democracy.

Why do less people with disabilities vote?

Voters with disabilities face access barriers throughout the voting process, from finding information on when and how to vote to the act of voting itself. Different people with disabilities have different access needs and so the range of access barriers is as diverse as the disability community itself. Some common access barriers include:

  • Physical barriers at polling locations
  • Unreliable or inaccesible transportation options
  • Inaccessible elections websites and voting systems
  • Lack of voting material in accessible formats like American Sign Language, plain language, Spanish, and more
  • Lack of poll worker training on supporting the rights of disabled voters and operating accessible equipment
  • States limiting safe and accessible remote voting options which are even more necessary during the pandemic
  • Less access to broadband internet to get information about voting
  • Social isolation due to barriers in both physical and communications infrastructure
  • Political indifference as politicians and elected officials fail to address and consider voters with disabilities

How can we advance the disability vote?

At the REV UP Voting Campaign, we work to remove barriers to voting and make sure that voters with disabilities are registered, ready, and motivated to vote every election. We are made up of disability advocates, disability organizations, and ally organization building the power of the disability vote, and you can join the movement too!

Organizing around the disability vote can mean different things, such as working with your community to:

  • Provide accessible rides to the polls.
  • Make sure your community knows when and how to vote.
  • Advocate for more accessible voting processes.
  • Call attention to key issues impacting people with disabilities.
  • And more!

If you are interested in joining REV UP and advancing the disability vote with your community, fill out the form below! You can join the over 200 partner organizations committed to REV UP’s mission, join an existing REV UP coalition, or expand our network by starting a new coalition in your area.

Where can I learn more about the Disability Vote?

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