Category Archives: 2020

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Needs Your Help

Democracy Diverted – Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote – September 2019

This report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund details the creation by Congress of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its Section 5 Amendment (See below). This law discouraged much of the racism previously associated with voting rights. In 2013, Section 5 was dismantled by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Shelby decision. Since Shelby, polling location closures have skyrocketed.

” Closing polling places has a cascading effect, leading to long lines at other polling places, transportation hurdles, denial of language assistance and other forms of in-person help, and mass confusion about where eligible voters may cast their ballot. For many people, and particularly for voters of color, older voters, rural voters, and voters with disabilities, these burdens make it harder — and sometimes impossible — to vote.”

” One of the more alarming trends we discovered is a widespread practice of blaming polling place closures on another civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The leading closers of polling places from Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana used ADA compliance as their major pretext. In several cases, little to no effort was made to understand ADA compliance. Instead, election officials took advantage of the public’s lack of understanding about the law to grossly inflate the estimated costs of compliance for both publicly and privately owned polling places .”

Recommendation:

“…restore the Voting Rights Act, reactivate Section 5, and strengthen its other provisions that require elected officials to seek the input of communities of color and provide notice of any polling place change for any reason. “

In other words, your vote matters. Without the VRA, it is too easy for election officials to discriminate against specific types of voters. Talk to the candidates about the Voting Rights Act, Section 5 and how important it is for every single voter to be able to vote!

Section 5

Jurisdictions with a demonstrated record of racial discrimination in voting were required to submit all proposed voting changes to the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for “preclearance” in advance of implementation. The jurisdictions were required to prove that the proposed voting change would not deny or adversely affect the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or an eligible voter’s membership in a language minority group.

Webinar – Engaging Young Voters

Free Webinar from NonProfitVote.org

As part of the “Summer VOTEcation Series,” this last webinar will give you TEN strategies for better engaging and encouraging young people to the polls.  

Join the webinar Thursday, September 12, 2pm-3pmET, 11am-Noon PT when staff from Opportunity Youth United and CIRCLE will be on hand to discuss how YOU can combat lower turnout rates for young folks. 

Nonprofits are trusted messengers that can support young voters as they navigate complicated registration processes and dispel common misconceptions about eligibility and the voting process. 

Register online at https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=7xlkvxelih9b&campaign=ppqotjrdnj0b

Disability Vote and Presidential Debates

During the upcoming presidential debates, the REV UP network would like to further promote policies that the presidential candidates should address. We would also like to see intentional discussion around disability issues during the debates. We could use your help!

  • Please share questions and topics that you would like the Presidential Candidates to discuss during the upcoming debates. Please share your thoughts through this link before September 9th.  AAPD will promote questions and topic areas to the debate moderators and via social media to amplify the Disability Vote. 
  • Leading up to the presidential debates, we encourage folks to amplify #SayTheWord. #SayTheWord is a hashtag to encourage individuals (including campaigns) to say the word disability. Please also use #REVUP and #CripTheVote.
  • Finally, during the presidential debate on September 12th, we encourage folks to participate in the #CripTheVote twitter conversation.

Help us amplify the Disability Vote!

September Democratic Debate

Watch Debate September 12

10 candidates met the Democratic National Committee thresholds to be in the ABC and Univision Primary Debate on September 12 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  This debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston.   George Stephanopolis, David Muir, Linsey Davis and Jorge Ramos will moderate.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Businessman Andrew Yang

The podium order is: Klobuchar, Booker, Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Harris, Yang, O’Rourke and Castro .

2020 Disability Questionnaire

from AAPD on August 1:

2020 Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies  

Washington, D.C. –  The 2020 Presidential elections will have significant implications for 20 percent of the US population- people with disabilities. As we move towards election day, the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Campaign and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) have developed a Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies. Through their responses to this questionnaire candidates will share their views and positions on key disability policy priorities.

“There will be over 35 million eligible voters with disabilities in 2020. We encourage all the Presidential candidates to engage the Disability vote,” said Maria Town, President & CEO of AAPD. “Our organizations are committed to empowering our community and speaking out about critical issues with the candidates.”

The Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies has been sent to all the 2020 Presidential candidates. Each campaign has been asked to return the questionnaire by September 6th so AAPD/NCIL can share their responses to our community before the September Presidential debate. All other responses will be posted after the October debate on an ongoing basis.

“It is important for the candidates to stay informed on disability policies and engage in initiatives that empower our community,” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of NCIL. “We encourage voters to reach out to the Presidential candidates, including through social media, to share the Presidential questionnaire and request their responses.”

The Presidential Questionnaire is split into categories such as:

  • Civil Rights
  • Climate Change & Emergency Preparedness
  • Healthcare
  • Employment
  • Education

You can find a copy of the Presidential Questionnaire on Disability Policies through this link: https://www.aapd.com/2020-presidential-candidate-questionnaire-on-disability-policies/.

Census and Internet Access

The Census Could Undercount People Who Don’t Have Internet Access

From Slate.com by Jessica Rosenworcel  July 29, 2019

Each national census (every 10 years) is mandated by the Constitution.  The data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representative, and is used to distribute federal funds to local communities.  In other words, these numbers are critical, and could determine if a community gets fair representation and needed federal funds.

The 2020 Census can be completed on-line.  This Slate.com article details several problems with this methodology, and the risks of under-counting large groups of people who are not on-line.  “The Pew Research Center reports that nearly half of adults who earn less than $30,000 do not have broadband service at home. ”  This group almost certainly includes many people with disabilities.  In other words, the 2020 census will have a direct on the voting impact and federal dollars, with under-represented groups losing out.

Democratic Presidential Debates – July 30 and 31

How to watch the second 2020 Democratic presidential debate

From cbsnews.com by Grace Segers, July 29, 2019

Second Democratic debate schedule

Dates: Tuesday, July 30 & Wednesday, July 31
Time: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST
Location: Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan

How to watch the second 2020 Democratic debate

Official TV broadcast: CNN
Free online stream: CNN.com, CNN apps
Additional coverage: Watch CBSN for live coverage of the debates before, during and after

There are also Democratic Watch parties in most communities.  If you are a Democrat, try contacting your local Town Committee or other organization.

DNC debate candidates for July 30

  • Marianne Williamson
  • Tim Ryan
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Beto O’Rourke
  • John Hickenlooper
  • John Delaney
  • Steve Bullock

DNC debate candidates for July 31

  • Michael Bennet
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Julian Castro
  • Cory Booker
  • Joe Biden
  • Kamala Harris
  • Andrew Yang
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Jay Inslee
  • Bill de Blasio

Candidates who did not qualify for the debate

  • Seth Moulton
  • Tom Steyer
  • Mike Gravel
  • Joe Sestak
  • Wayne Messam

 

Time Mag: Voter Turnout Surged Among People With Disabilities Last Year

Voter Turnout Surged Among People With Disabilities Last Year. Activists Want to Make Sure That Continues in 2020

Time Magazine
July 10, 2019 by Abigail Abrams

…” new data shows that politicians who ignore disabled Americans may be missing out on a growing group of voters whose support could be up for grabs in 2020 — and activists are hoping to take advantage of this momentum.” …

This article contains several links to important ongoing efforts to get the vote out and to improve the focus on disability issues with our candidates and elected officials, including REV Up and NCIL.

Read the article at https://time.com/5622652/disability-voter-turnout-2020/

Voter turnout increase was documented in a pdf Rutgers Report from researchers at Rutgers University.  “Voter turnout surged by 8.5 points in 2018 among citizens with disabilities relative to the 2014 midterm elections.”

AAPD also has a press release describing this positive information!

2020 Presidential Primary Candidate Survey on Disability

From the Disability Rights Center in New Hampshire.  DRC partners with 24 disability advocacy organizations in NH.

In an effort to inform individuals with disabilities about the 2020 presidential primary candidates twenty-four New Hampshire based organizations joined together and requested that each campaign answer five disability related questions. You can view candidate responses below, either by selecting a particular candidate or by selecting a particular question.

Topics included are:

  • Employment’
  • Assistive Technology
  • Special Education
  • Mental Health Services
  • Workforce Shortage

You can view the answers by candidate, or by question.

drcnh.org/2020-presidential-candidate-survey