Roughly 1 in 4 American adults has a disability, and over 38 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote in 2020. Unfortunately, disabled voters turnout to vote less frequently than voters without disabilities. A 7 percentage point turnout gap persists between disabled and non-disabled voters, which amounts to over 2 million fewer votes cast by people with disabilities. Much of this turnout gap comes from the increased barriers that disabled voters, and especially disabled voters of color, face. These barriers exist throughout the voting process, from registering to vote to casting a ballot. This year, hundreds of bills in state legislatures threaten access to the ballot, and some of these bills have already passed.
This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week, which lasts from September 13th to September 20th. While the REV UP network is active all year, this national week of civic engagement initiatives builds excitement and momentum in our advocacy around the disability vote. During National Disability Voter Registration Week, Organizers across the country host voter registration drives, voter trainings, and other activities to get out the disability vote.
REV UP stands for “Register! Educate! Vote! Use your power!” Founded by grassroots organizers in Texas, REV UP is a part of a movement to build the power of the disability vote in our communities and nationwide. REV UP is now led by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and is made up of a national network of individuals, organizations, and election officials. These REV UP organizers work to both increase civic engagement in the disability community and ensure people with disabilities have access to the ballot.
We “REV UP” during National Disability Voter Registration Week, because we know how our vote impacts every part of our lives, including access to healthcare, work, housing, financial security, education, and more. By hosting National Disability Voter Registration Week, our goal is to get more voters with disabilities registered and ready to vote and to call attention to the issues impacting our communities, including access to voting.
We invite you to be a part of the 2021 National Disability Voter Registration Week happening now and join organizers across the country as we build the power of the disability vote! You can sign up as a partner here. You can also follow us on social media (@aapd on Twitter, @DisabilityPowered on Facebook, and @aapdofficial on Instagram) to participate in our 5 actions that you can do to make sure you and your community are registered and ready to vote. We hope you will join us for the events and activities throughout the week as we REV UP the disability vote together!