MEDIA ADVISORY: EAC Online Event to Spotlight Improving Voting Accessibility for Veterans with Disabilities

Tuesday, JULY 18, 2017 

Silver Spring, MD – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will host a streaming web event on Tuesday, July 18, at 11 a.m. EDT to examine initiatives that improve voting accessibility for veterans with disabilities. The event coincides with the second annual National Disability Voter Registration Week and the 27th anniversary month of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The panel discussion will underscore the importance of efforts to ensure accessible and independent voting for all Americans, including the more than 3.9 million U.S. military veterans with a service-connected disability.

EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson will moderate the Tuesday online panel featuring Iowa Deputy Secretary of State Michael Ross, Paralyzed Veterans of America Senior Associate Director of Advocacy Lee Page, Virginia’s Department of Elections Absentee and Disabilities Coordinator Terry Wagoner, Bipartisan Policy Center Fellow Donald Palmer, and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Vice President Daniel Castro. The discussion will focus on cutting-edge national and state driven strategies to improve voting access for veterans with disabilities, including Iowa’s “Helping Veterans and Iowans with Disabilities Vote” initiative and veterans with disabilities-focused research funded by the EAC.

Veterans are an active and important part of the American electorate. In the 2014 Federal Election, 11.5 million veterans – approximately 54% of this segment of the population - cast a ballot. That’s significantly higher than the voting rate among nonveterans, which was 41%. The EAC has long advocated for policies that ensure those who defend our democracy have the ability to shape it through independent, accessible voting.

More than 35 million Americans with disabilities, roughly one-sixth of the total electorate, are eligible to vote in the United States. This accounts for a broad range of disabilities, including mobility, communicative, physical and cognitive impairments. Veterans with disabilities, for example, may be dealing with traumatic brain injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder, or any number of other seen and unseen disabilities. Since the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), people with disabilities have been able to exercise their right to vote privately and independently. During July, the EAC will be highlighting this vital law, as well as the ADA, and the advances these laws have brought to the voting process.

For more information or to speak with a panelists, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at or 202-897-9285.

WHAT:      Election Innovations – Helping Veterans with Disabilities in the Voting Process 

WHO:        Matthew Masterson, EAC Chairman, Moderator

Michael Ross, Iowa Deputy Secretary of State

Lee Page, Senior Associate Director of Advocacy, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Terry Wagoner, Absentee and Disabilities Coordinator, Virginia Department of Elections

Don Palmer, Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center

Daniel Castro, Vice President, information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

WHEN:      Tuesday, July 18 at 11 a.m. EDT

WHERE:    Streaming live at