Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bay State Council of the Blind Survey

The Bay State Council of the Blind conducted a survey seeking information on the accessibility of voting in the Presidential election last November.  You can review the results of their research hereLet’s hope this survey gets us even closer to 100% compliance for 2018!

Recommendations

  • For a presidential election, six voters reported there was no accessible machine at their polling place. It’s likely the number would be higher for local elections. There needs to be more oversight and vigilance to ensure that all cities and towns are complying with HAVA.
  • Approximately 42% of respondents took advantage of early voting, making it a popular option. Only 10% voted by absentee ballot. It’s very important for an accessible machine to be at every polling place that is open for early voting.
  • One in ten voters with a disability doesn’t know if their polling place has an accessible terminal. Poll workers need to be more proactive in offering it as an option.
  • One-third of poll workers would benefit from more training in the use of the terminal.
  • One in ten disabled respondents said their ballot was not private. Confidentiality will be enhanced by thoughtful positioning of the terminal, good repair, and well-trained staff.

Conclusion

With the implementation of HAVA, Massachusetts voters with disabilities have far more privacy and independence than they had ten years ago. Unfortunately, inconsistencies remain. Most users liked the AutoMARK terminal, and most of the difficulties identified in the survey could be easily addressed with maintenance and training. More vigilance is needed to ensure a consistently positive experience for all voters.

Thanks to Disability Policy Consortium for the link.

Framingham Elections November 7

After voting to become a city, Framingham will be electing their first mayor on November 7.  What an exciting time to be a voter in Framingham!  In addition to mayor, voters will be selecting City Councilors.

Mayoral candidates:

The Framingham website has lots of information on candidates and polling locations.

Residents can join the campaigns and attend debates.  MetroWest Daily News reported on a recent debate, with a debate on Oct. 28  and a forum on Nov. 2.  Watch your local news for more information on these two events!

Visit the Saturday, October 28 League of Women Voters event on Facebook for more info.  1 p.m. at the Memorial Building.

2017 Boston Elections

Boston 2017

Boston voters will be voting for Mayor and City Councillors in a November 7 election.  (Note: voters must be registered by October 18.)  The City of Boston website has provided some great information on this event at www.boston.gov/calendar/city-boston-general-municipal-election.  Drill down to find the list of candidates, as well as a map to determine which district you are in.

You should also research the candidates.  The mayoral candidates, incumbent Marty Walsh and opponent Tito Jackson, have both been interviewed and reported on extensively by most Boston news organizations. Walsh and Jackson debated on October 24 at 7 p.m . It was broadcast by WGBH on both TV and radio (Ch.2/89.7 FM) and hosted by daytime Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.

Mayoral Candidates

Tito Jackson’s campaign website:  titojacksonformayor.com.  Visit the Events page for opportunities to see Mr. Jackson in person.

Marty Walsh’s campaign website:  martywalsh.org.

1 Week to National Voter Reg Day!

National Voter Registrataion DayWe’re just one week away from the 2017 National Voter Registration Day (September 26, 2017)! Hopefully you are planning to host a voter registration event or join a registration event planned by another organization or group in your community.

Please see below for information on how to get involved with National Voter Registration Day. Even if you are not able to host or attend a registration event, please promote this day and encourage everyone to get registered! The folks over at National Voter Registration Day put together a Communications Toolkit with sample email and social media posts to help you activate your digital networks.  The Social Media Toolkit has ideas for posting messages on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Thank you for all that you do to make the disability vote count!

From Zach at AAPD

National Voter Registration Day 2017- Call to Action!

Scroll down for Spanish Translation.    Desplácese hacia abajo para la traducción al español.

From nationalvolterregistrationday.org:

National Voter Registration Day
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Call to Action!

Over 2,500 partners across the country — including YOU — are gearing up for the final push toward September 26. This week you should focus on reminding your membership lists about the holiday, continuing your social media push and following up with influencers to remind them that National Voter Registration Day is just two weeks away. Keep up the great work!

Today’s Toolkit Spotlight:

Check out the updated the media alert template on our website, which you should use to announce your event and engage local media. Download the template, customize it with your information and distribute it to your media list next Tuesday, September 19.

After you’ve sent out the media alert next week, follow up with a phone call to key reporters and news desks to make sure they’ve received it and have your event on their planning calendars.

Kudos to our friends at the Bastrop County (TX) Elections Department, who got this local press hit using the press release template last month!

Today’s Call to Action:

National Voter Registration also has a Communication Toolkit to help you promote your event directly and solicit RSVPs from members of the public. Follow up with influencers too, reminding them that the event is just two weeks away, and ensure the date is on their social media calendars.

Have a great week from,

The National Voter Registration Day Team

PS: Our thoughts are with our local partners in states recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. We know you’re going through a difficult time and are here to support you.

Follow National Voter Registration Day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes martes 26 de setiembre de 2017   ¡Llamado a la Acción!

De: nationalvolterregistrationday.org:

¡DOS SEMANAS PARA EL DÍA NACIONAL DE REGISTRO DE VOTANTES!

Más de 2,500 asociados en todo el país — USTED incluido — se están preparando para el impulso final hacia el 26 de setiembre. Esta semana usted debe centrarse en hacer recordar a sus listas de miembros sobre el día especial, continuar su impulso en los medios sociales y seguir con la gente influyente para recordarles que el Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes será en sólo dos semanas. ¡Siga con el gran trabajo!

Herramientas para hoy:

Dar un vistazo a la plantilla actualizada de alerta mediática en nuestro sitio web, que deberá utilizar para anunciar su evento y participar en los medios de comunicación locales. Descargar la plantilla, personalizarla con su información y distribuirla a su lista de medios el próximo martes 19 de setiembre.

Después de enviar la alerta mediática la próxima semana, hacer un seguimiento telefónico a los reporteros clave y redacciones para estar seguros que la han recibido y que su evento está en sus calendarios de planificación.

¡Felicitaciones a nuestros amigos del Departamento de Elecciones del condado de Bastrop (TX), que consiguieron este éxito de prensa local con la plantilla del comunicado de prensa, el mes pasado!

Llamado a la acción para hoy:

El Registro Nacional de Votantes también tiene Herramientas de Comunicaciones para ayudarle a promocionar su evento directamente y solicitar confirmaciones de asistencia del público. Seguimiento con las personas influyentes también, recordándoles que el evento está a sólo dos semanas, y asegurar que la fecha es en sus calendarios de los medios sociales.

Que tenga una buena semana

El Equipo del Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes

Postdata: Nuestros pensamientos están con nuestros socios locales en los estados que se recuperan de los huracanes Irma y Harvey. Sabemos que están pasando por un momento difícil y estamos aquí para apoyarlos.

Siga al Día Nacional de Registro de Votantes en Twitter, Facebook e Instagram

¿Quién es REV UP?

Rev Up, Massachusetts es parte de la Campaña Nacional para hacer que el voto de los discapacitados cuente. Somos una asociación de muchas organizaciones de discapacitados de  Massachusetts.  REV UP MA ofrecerá información y recursos sobre el registro, las cuestiones sobre el voto y el acceso a los lugares de votación.  Educaremos a los votantes sobre los temas locales y foros de candidatos, y sobre otros mecanismos para saber más sobre sus opciones.

Nuestro objetivo es ofrecer a la comunidad de discapacitados una mayor voz con mayor participación y mayor poder político.

Para obtener más información sobre REV UP Massachusetts, visite nuestro sitio web en www.revupma.org.

Local Libraries Enthusiastic about NDVRW

MetroWest Center for Independent Living is bringing NVDRA packets to the libraries of as many ofthe 26 towns in our services area as we can.

Monday I brought the packet (see the NVDRA page) for National Disability Voter Registration Week to the Medway Library.  I am well acquainted with the Medway librarians and the library, and the request to post our materials was extremely well received.  (We included 10 each of the brochures, the pledge forms and registration forms.)  And in fact, one librarian thought she may make more copies and bring them with her to other venues!

Tuesday I stopped by Medfield and Millis.  Medfield could not make room on a foyer table quickly enough.  The sign for the library’s hours was moved to the side, and the NDVRA announcement sign was displayed prominently.  At Millis, the librarian needed to speak with her director, but she also was enthused about our initiative!

Sue Rorke

National Organizing Call Recap

REV UP National Organizing Call Recap
Preparing for National Disability Voter Registration Week 2017

“…on June 9, the REV UP Campaign hosted a National Organizing Call to prepare for National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) 2017. NDVRW is an annual effort to get more people with disabilities registered to vote while making the media and political candidates aware of the disability community as a powerful voting bloc. In 2016, according to Rutgers University, people with disabilities and their families (within the same household) accounted for 25% of the total electorate (62.7 million eligible voters).

During the call, we discussed the REV UP Campaign’s purpose as well as our state disability voting coalition strategy. We also reviewed our partnership with EveryLibrary and public libraries around the country, general voter registration strategies, and examples of NDVRW activities from current REV UP state partners.”

AAPD.com has provided a recap of the call.  One interesting piece is a partnership with EveryLibrary.

Organizing Call for National Disability Voter Registration Week

National Disability Voter Registration Week 2017 – Organizing Call
June 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm ET
Register for the call here!

To help prepare for the week the National REV UP Campaign will host a National Organizing Call on Friday, June 9 at 1pm Eastern Time. During this call, we will discuss the  REV UP Campaign’s state coalition strategy, general voter registration strategies, and examples from current REV UP state partners. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
This call is free, and open to everyone.

2016 National Voter Turnout

Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project are excited to release America Goes to the Polls 2016a report that ranks all 50 states in voter turnout for the 2016 election and identifies policies that help contribute to higher turnout.
Massachusetts did fairly well with a 7th place turnout of 68.3 % – right behind 6 states with same-day voter registration.
We are guessing that the Early Voting offered in MA this year contributed to our relatively high turnout.  We also would like to see statistics on participation by people with disabilities.  Regardless, this is an interesting report!
Here are just a few highlights from the report:
  • National turnout of eligible voters was 60.2% – 1.6 percentage points above the 58.6% turnout in 2012, though slightly lower than 2008. Four in 10 eligible voters did not vote.
  • The highest turnout states were Minnesota (74.8%), Maine (72.8%), New Hampshire (72.5%), Colorado (72.1%), Wisconsin (70.5%), and Iowa (69.0%). All six offered same day voter registration, enabling voters to register or update their registration when they vote. Five were battleground states targeted by the campaigns.
  • The lowest turnout states were Hawaii (43%), West Virginia (50.8%), Texas (51.6%), Tennessee (52.0%) and Arkansas (53.1%). These five states were at the bottom for the third consecutive presidential election. None were battleground states. All five cut off the ability to register or update a registration three to four weeks before Election Day.