Disabled Voters

Yesterday was a big day in the 2012 Presidential election, with Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential nominee. Only history will tell us whether or not that will be a winning combo for the GOP this year.

One group that’s not winning in the election are disabled voters, according to a recent study. An article in the USA Today notes that nearly 3.2 million disabled Americans are sidelined during elections and it outlines a few of the key obstacles.

Some facts and figures I found interesting:

  • Disabled voter turnout is 11 percent lower than that of non-disabled voters. A double-digit margin signifies there are real issues here.
  • The Government Accountability Office reports that they found only 27% of polling places had no obstacles for disabled voters the during the 2008 election — a shockingly lower number, considering the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed 22 years ago.
  • Problems include wheelchair ramps being too narrow or steep, polling places missing handicapped entrance signs, voting booths setup too close to the wall for wheelchairs to get to, and poll workers not knowing how to work the accessible machines.

Our government is failing to ensure that all constituents are heard in elections and we must do better.

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