REV UP and Get-Out-The-Vote!

October 5, 2016 | Zach Baldwin


Yesterday, the REV UP Campaign hosted a National Organizing Call focused on rallying the disability community’s participation in get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities between now and Election Day on November 8th. There is a lot at stake for our community in this election, and with 35.4 million eligible voters in 2016 the disability community can have a decisive impact.

A huge thank you to Charlie Carr, REV UP Massachusetts; Carol Westlake, Tennessee Disability Coalition; and Doug Kruse, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations for joining the call to share their insights on get-out-the-vote activities and voters with disabilities.

Generally speaking, GOTV is a type of political campaign aimed at increasing voter turnout in an election. Many people may be familiar with political parties and candidates conducting GOTV efforts to increase the amount of voters who will cast a ballot in their favor, but nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations can also participate in GOTV activities. In our current climate where casting a ballot is more challenging for people with disabilities and other marginalized communities, implementing GOTV activities are critical to ensure that our voices carry equal weight.

Seven Tips on Getting Out The Vote
Courtesy of Nonprofit VOTE

The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! During this election, we have focused on supporting our REV UP partners to engage in voter registration activities for National Disability Voter Registration Week as well as National Voter Registration Day. Now, our community must turn our attention to getting out the disability vote!

Following Election Day, the REV UP Campaign will host another National Organizing Call to debrief the 2016 election and our collective efforts to increase the political participation of people with disabilities. We’ll share successes, challenges, and brainstorm how to continue the REV UP Campaign post-election. More information to come soon.



Additional GOTV Tools & Resources

Projecting the Number of Eligible Voters with Disabilities in the November 2016 Elections
Doug Kruse and Lisa Schur from Rutgers University have released this report examining the eligible voters with disabilities for the 2016 election. You can access the report here.

Tennessee Disability Coalition GOTV Resources
Special thank you to Carol Westlake for sharing these materials.




Rock The Vote
Get registered, get informed, and get involved. Rock The Vote offers voter registration resources, election FAQs, and opportunities to help build the political power of young people in the United States.




AAPD/NCIL REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire
These questions have been sent to all of the current presidential candidates. Their responses will be shared publicly once received.


View their Election 2016 Voter Guide for information on registering, learning your Primary Election date, finding your polling place, and how to overcome any accessibility challenges that arise. as well as blogs on Voting, Disabled Youth, & #CripTheVote and Disability Advocacy and Twitter: Why Use it?. You can also join the conversation online with #CripTheVote.


RespectAbility Report
Nonpartisan political commentary on the 2016 U.S. elections with a focus on disability issues.


Know Your Rights as a Voter with a Disability – Voter Accessibility Laws
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and other federal laws require that all Americans—including seniors and people with disabilities—have the same opportunity to participate in the voting process. As a voter with a disability, you have the right to:

  • Vote privately and independently
  • Have an accessible polling place with voting machines for voters with disabilities
  • Seek assistance from workers at the polling place who have been trained to use the accessible voting machine, or
  • 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).
  • Participate in curbside voting, if offered in your state. Check with your local election officials.


It’s Your Right.
A guide to the voting rights of people with mental health disabilities from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law


Self Advocates Becoming Empowered – Voting and Guardianship
A guide to the voting rights of people under guardianship.




Election Protection
If you experience a problem while trying to vote you can contact:


SMS Tool
The Voting Information Project supports a SMS Tool that provides voters with election information via text message. By texting “VOTE” or “VOTO” to GOVOTE (468-683), voters can find polling places, contact information for local election officials, and registration URLs. The app is available in multiple languages.


Voter ID Requirements
VoteRiders released a wallet-sized Voter ID Info Card (in English and Spanish) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each card provides a breakdown of the voter ID requirements in that specific state. They also host a Voter ID Hotline: 1-844-338-8743.





REV UP Campaign – Pledge to Vote
Online form for voters to complete to make a pledge that they will vote in this election.


NCIL Voting Rights Subcommittee – 2016 Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) Manual
The Voting Rights Subcommittee of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has released a GOTV Manual for the 2016 election.


SignVote is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing community-based Voter GOTV mobilization effort.


DisBeat is a national communications initiative that aims to frame the broader discourse on disability. DisBeat wants to know what you are doing to organize so they can amplify your efforts via social media. You can connect with DisBeat on Facebook and Twitter.


Nonprofit VOTE Voter Engagement Resource Library – GOTV
Nonprofit VOTE partners with America’s nonprofits to help the people they serve participate and vote. We are the largest source of nonpartisan resources to help nonprofits integrate voter engagement into their ongoing activities and services.



Thank you for all that you do to make the DISABILITY VOTE count!

Photo of Justin Dart with text: "VOTE as if your life depends on it - Because it DOES!

VOTE as it your life DEPENDS on it – Because it DOES!

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