Silver Spring, MD – As it marks the fourth annual National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) REV UP Campaign, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today reaffirmed its commitment to ensure that all eligible voters can cast their ballot privately and independently – voting rights rooted in the Help America Vote Act and championed by the Commission.
“Ensuring that all eligible voters have equal access to the polls is at the core of the EAC’s mission,” said EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick. “Representative democracy is at its best when it’s shaped by all Americans. The EAC applauds the REV UP Campaign’s inspiring work to empower people with disabilities to register to vote, to better understand their voting rights, and to participate in elections. We look forward to participating in this week’s activities and continuing to provide assistance for voters with disabilities and the election officials who serve them through our ongoing efforts at the EAC. ”
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. This population of voters also faces educational, cultural and political barriers that can make participating in elections even more difficult. The EAC has a strong commitment to working with both election officials and voters with disabilities to ensure that the election process, polling places and voting service are accessible.
Those efforts, as well as a discussion about accessibility and election security, will take center stage at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, as EAC Chairwoman McCormick, Vice Chair Ben Hovland, Commissioner Thomas Hicks, and Commissioner Donald Palmer join members of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) for their annual conference in Washington, DC. The Commissioners will come together for a 90-minute segment that will feature a moderated discussion, as well as an open forum for NCIL members to share their experiences at the polls, feedback the Commissioners will use to shape future EAC efforts to enhance accessibility for the ever-growing population of voters with disabilities across the U.S.
Established by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2016, the REV UP Campaign is a nonpartisan initiative that coordinates with national, state, and local disability organizations to increase the political participation of the disability community and engages the nation on disability issues. REV UP focuses on voter registration, education, access, and engagement. For more information about the campaign, visit https://www.aapd.com.
For more information about the EAC’s election accessibility work, visit the following links:
WWW.EAC.GOV – Visit the EAC’s Voting Accessibility webpage for resources and tools designed to serve voters with disabilities and the election officials who serve them.
- The EAC Voting Rights Card - This resource is designed to assist voters with disabilities at the polls. It is available in pocket size, as well as braille and large print to assist voters who are visually impaired and blind. The EAC has distributed thousands of these cards and continues to distribute them today.
- EAC “Clearie” Awards for Improving Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities – A key function of the EAC is to highlight and share innovative approaches to improving election administration, including efforts that improve accessibility for voters with disabilities. Each year, the EAC bestows its Clearinghouse Awards, better known as the “Clearies,” to celebrate these achievements and showcase programs that other election administrators may wish to emulate. In 2018, these award-winning efforts were submitted by the Iowa Secretary of State, Martin County, Fla., and Contra Costa County, Calif.
- Fact Sheet: How the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Empowers Voters with Disabilities and the Election Officials who Serve Them – This fact sheet is available online and contains information about the commission’s commitment to ensuring the election process, polling places and voting services are accessible.
For additional information, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-897-9285.