Statistics & Data
Statistics about the disability community as a powerful voting bloc.
- The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) observed polling place accessibility at 178 polling places during the 2016 election. They found the following results:
- Of the 178 polling places, 60% (107) had one or more potential impediments.
- Of the 137 where GAO was able to fully examine voting stations inside the polling place, 65% (89) had a voting station with an accessible voting system that could impede the casting of a private and independent vote.
- 16 million people with disabilities voted in the November 2016 elections (Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, Rutgers University).
- The voter turnout rate of people with disabilities was 6 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities during the 2016 election (Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, Rutgers University).
- Employed people with disabilities, however, were just as likely as employed people without disabilities to vote, suggesting that employment helps bring people with disabilities into mainstream political life (Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, Rutgers University).
- The voter registration rate of people with disabilities was 2 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities. The lower voter turnout was due both to a lower registration rate among people with disabilities, and to lower turnout among those who are registered. (Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, Rutgers University)
- If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.2 million more voters. (Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, Rutgers University)
- People with disabilities accounted for approximately one sixth (16.67%) of eligible voters in the 2016 election, totaling 35.4 million people in all (Doug Kruse & Lisa Schur, Rutgers University).
- In 2016, there were 62.7 million eligible voters who either have a disability or have a household member with a disability, more than one-fourth (25%) of the total electorate (Doug Kruse & Lisa Schur, Rutgers University).
- In 2016, the number people with disabilities who were eligible to vote surpassed the number of eligible Black and Latino voters (USA Today).
- The Great Poll Closure report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund is based on a study of 381 of the approximately 800 counties that were covered by Section 5 of the VRA before the Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder. According to an analysis of the study, voters in these counties will have at least 868 fewer places to cast ballots in the 2016 presidential elections than they did in past elections, a 16 percent reduction.
- In 2012, 56.8% of people with disabilities voted compared to 62.5% of people without disabilities (Schur, Adya, and Kruse – Rutgers University).
- If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities in 2012 there would have been an additional 3 million votes cast (Schur, Adya, and Kruse – Rutgers University).
- In 2012 30 percent of people with disabilities reported difficulty in voting, compared with 8 percent of people without disabilities (Schur, Adya, and Kruse – Rutgers University).
- 2012 voter demographic groups (number of active voters) (Schur, Adya, and Kruse – Rutgers University)
- White, non-Hispanic: 98 million
- Black / African American: 17.8 million
- Disability: 15.6 million
- Hispanic/Latino: 11.2 million
- Asian: 3.9 million
- In 2008, 43 states reported that they required accessibility standards for polling places, up from 23 states in 2000. At the same time, 31 states reported that ensuring polling place accessibility was challenging. (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-13-538SP (2013))
- In 2000, 42% of people with disabilities voted compared to 52% of people without disabilities.
- Projecting the Number of Eligible Voters with Disabilities in the November 2016 Elections – Rutgers University, School of Management and Labor Relations
- A political Profile of Disabled Americans – The Pew Research Center Fact Tank
- Disability and Voter Turnout Statistics – Rutgers University, School of Management and Labor Relations
- Voting Accessibility for People with Disabilities – Ruderman Foundation