Think globally, act locally
As a voter, it is your responsibility to learn about the candidates and issues that will appear on your ballot. In Massachusetts, in 2016, we will have the responsibility of voting for a new president, voting for several ballot initiatives, and voting for local officials. All of our Congressional Representatives are up for election, as well as all of our State Representatives and State Senators. Our two senators in Washington, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, are not up for election this year.
To see what your ballot will look like, visit wheredoivotema.com, enter your address, and then click on Sample Ballot. While this ballot is not official, it is almost always correct and complete. Print it out, research the candidates and ballot questions, and bring your choices to the election!
We are fortunate in Massachusetts because generally, our elected officials are approachable and willing to meet with constituent groups, and talk about issues and concerns.
In the months leading up to an election, most candidates are especially visible; there may be many opportunities to meet them, to form an opinion on their values and to share your concerns with them. Watch the media, and look at candidate websites for upcoming events.
If you’ve been watching the presidential debates, you might have noticed how few references to disability issues were made, even though people with disabilities continue to face obstacles in housing, unemployment, and even public places!
By getting educated on disability topics, getting to know your elected officials and candidates, educating them on disabilities, and coming together as a group, we can get our issues into the mainstream. But – we can’t do that if we don’t vote.