Vote by Mail is a Way to Ensure the Disability Community is Included in the Next Election
With the election quickly approaching in November, policymakers have proposed expanding vote by mail as a way to protect the health of voters and poll workers during COVID-19.
Voting by mail distributes ballots to voters before election day. States give voters a window during which they are required to mail back their ballot to an election office or drop it off at a designated location in order to be counted in the election. Voting by mail eliminates the need for voters to visit in-person polling stations and permits them to vote from the safety of their homes. But for all its convenience, voting by mail is not always a solution.
In fact, many people with disabilities rely on in-person voting accessibility features to guarantee their right to a secure, private, and independent vote. There is not a universal solution when developing a voting system that can meet the needs of the entire disability community. Accommodations for one disability will not necessarily work for another. And in some cases accommodations for one person can actually be an obstacle for another.
The Center for Disability Leadership is heading an initiative to encourage individuals and disability organizations to lead a small group in a two-part meeting process to help people request an absentee ballot and then fill it out and send it back in.
Check out this self-advocates toolkit to help individuals with disabilities in your community vote this November.