Voter suppression is a hot topic these days, particularly amongst those living in poverty and people of color. Now, with election day upon us and the threats of marginalized communities being targeted at the polls, society stands on high alert. People with disabilities are no stranger to this issue (are we able to get into the booth? Is there alternative transportation if we’re not able to get to the polls? Can wheelchair users get into the booths? Can blind or low vision voters access appropriate accommodations? Are the poll workers adequately trained to assist and provide the necessary materials to voters?... and if ya don’t know, now ya know). Yet, as in most areas of society, we’re not typically considered into the equation when we discuss the potential voter pool. Having registered as an absentee voter from my early college days, I’m the first to admit that I’ve been fortunate enough to not have encountered barriers that many in my community face. Despite having laws like HAVA in place (see EAC link below for more), research showed that only 17% of all polling stations were 100% equipped to serve the whole disability community. We can’t let this oversight deter us. Ensure you have a contingency plan, know your rights and make sure your polling place is ready for you. Check out the below articles for some facts and insight into some of the barriers we face. Don’t let your voice be silenced, tell the world that your vote counts!
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