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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Plan for National Disability Voter Registration Week

Since 2016, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) have worked in partnership on the REV UP Campaign to increase the political participation of people with disabilities.

The REV UP Campaign, launched by 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. The Campaign focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!

Today, NCIL and AAPD are reaching out to invite Centers for Independent Living to participate in National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) this year from July 16-20, 2018 to get more people with disabilities registered to vote and engaged in the political process in advance of the 2018 midterm elections.

The REV UP Campaign developed a National Disability Voter Registration Week Toolkit to help organizations and advocates plan their involvement in NDVRW. 

Below are a few ideas on how to engage in NDVRW:

  • Host a voter registration event at your office or a public venue. Organizing an in-person event is a great way to connect with the community and partner with other organizations. Be sure to collect data on the number of people you register so we can measure the impact of NDVRW.
  • Host a workshop or training on the voting rights of people with disabilities.
  • Host a workshop or training on your state’s voting laws and process and consider including a demonstration on how to use an accessible voting machine. Your local Elections office can be a great partner here.
  • Utilize your mail, email, and social media networks to provide information on voter registration and relevant disability issues in your state and local community while also encouraging people to commit to vote on Election Day. The NDVRW Social Media Toolkit includes sample social media posts and graphics.
  • Hold a press event or conference with local partners to announce national and local efforts to get new people with disabilities registered to vote, educated on disability issues, and committed to get out the DISABILITY VOTE. If possible, coordinate multiple sites around your state to host press events at the same time. The NDVRW Social Media Toolkit includes a press release template.
  • Make your organization a polling place. Resources: How To Serve As A Polling Site (PDF) and ADA Polling Place Checklist (PDF).
  • Go to your Governor, Mayor, City Council, County Commissioner, State Representative, etc. to issue a proclamation declaring National Disability Voter Registration Week. View a draft Proclamation (Word). This is a great way to develop a relationship with your local and state governments. Please send any Proclamations you get to Zach Baldwin at zbaldwin@aapd.com so we can show the influence of REV UP across the country!
  • Distribute candidate questionnaires to gather information on how candidates will address issues that are important to people with disabilities. The REV UP Campaign developed a Candidate Questionnaire Template for state and local partners to use.

You may be able to partner with your state protection and advocacy agency, your state Council on Developmental Disabilities, a local chapter of The Arc, a local Paralyzed Veterans of America chapter, or a local library to help expand your reach and impact.

We want to demonstrate the collective organizing power of the disability community to make our elected officials think twice before they propose regulations, laws, or budget cuts that would harm the disability community. With your help, we can show that the disability community is not only politically engaged, but has the electoral power to influence the outcome of elections.

The REV UP Campaign has also developed several other resources to aid our partners in registering, educating, and engaging voters in their community. We will send another alert when the rest of these materials are available.

If you have voter engagement events or activities planned during the year, please share them with NCIL and AAPD so we can update the REV UP Campaign’s State Resources and Events web page to both promote your events and resources as well as document our collective efforts this year. You can send information directly to Zach Baldwin at zbaldwin@aapd.com.

We thank you in advance for your help to increase the political power and participation of people with disabilities. If you have any questions, please email Sarah Blahovec (NCIL) at sarah@ncil.org or Zach Baldwin (AAPD) at zbaldwin@aapd.com.

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