As a partner of Disability Voting Rights Week, the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) is building the power of the disability vote in Missouri communities during the week of September 12-16, 2022. Disability Voting Rights Week is a national, nonpartisan initiative this September to build the power and presence of the disability vote. Disability Voting Rights Week is coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Voting Campaign.
Disability Voting Rights Week
This Disability Voting Rights Week, MODDC has a message people with disabilities: Your vote is your right and your vote is powerful. There are more than 38 million people with disabilities who are eligible to vote. However, discrimination, inaccessible voting processes, and exclusion from democracy lead to a turnout gap between voters with and without disabilities. People with disabilities are regularly left out of the political process and ignored in policies that directly impact our lives. In fact, less than 1 in 3 of voters with disabilities think that leaders in Washington, D.C., care about people with disabilities.
Rally the Disability Vote
This Disability Voting Rights Week, it is time to rally the disability vote, making sure Missouri communities are registered and ready to vote and have access to the ballot. When people with disabilities unite and advocate for civil and disability rights, they have been able to achieve meaningful change. In 2022, millions of disabled people will cast their ballots in elections across the country that will impact access to health care, financial security, the ability to live in community, and so much more. We “vote as if [our] lives depend on it, because,” as Justin Dart said, “they do!”
For people looking to rally the vote, here are some ways they can get involved:
- Get their community registered to vote! Registering to vote or checking registration can be done at vote.org. All Missourians that plan to register more than 10 voters need to fill out Voter Registration Solicitor Form with the Secretary of State’s Office. The form can be found here: VoterRegistrationSolicitors_08.09.2022.pdf (mo.gov) Missourians are encouraged to check-In with family and friends by texting three family members/friends to check their registration status.
- Learn where candidates are on disability issues. Engage with a candidate’s media and look for where the candidate includes the disability community. How is the candidate engaging with the disability community? Is their message accessible to all audiences, or does it exclude the disability community? Is the candidate vocal about supporting the disability community?
- Know voters’ general rights on Election Day: a. If the polls close while a voter is standing in line, the voter should stay in line as they have the right to vote. b. If a voter makes a mistake on their ballot, they should ask for a new ballot. c. If the machines are down at a polling place, voters should ask for a paper ballot. Source: ACLU.org
Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
The REV UP Campaign, launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations 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! Learn more at aapd.com/REVUP. For more information on the REV UP Campaign, Disability Voting Rights Week, and other civic engagement and state-specific resources, visit aapd.com/dvrw.
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) is a federally-funded, 23-member, consumer-driven council appointed by the Governor. Its mandate under P.L. 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and integration in all aspects of community life.
To learn more or to get involved, visit www.moddcouncil.org.