This year, millions of people will go to the polls to vote on mid-term elections. While the mid-term election may not get the media coverage that the Presidential election year does, it is a vital time in our state and nation. In 2016, a Presidential election year, 35 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote; however, only 16 million did. Many issues will face this new legislature that will impact the disabled community. Be sure to know where your candidate stands and take the time to register and vote!

In an effort to increase voter turnout in the disabled community, Helping Restore Ability has partnered with REV UP and the American Association of People with Disabilities.  REV UP has designated July 16-20 as National Disability Voter Registration Week, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has further proclaimed the week to be Disability Voter Registration Week in the state of Texas.  Aside from registering to vote, REV UP hosts events aimed at educating voters about the issues in the election and helping them to feel prepared to cast a ballot in November.

“The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Full political participation for Americans with disabilities is a top priority.  AAPD works with state and national coalitions on effective, non-partisan campaigns to eliminate barriers to voting, promote accessibility of voting technology and polling places; educate voters about issues and candidates; promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country; engage candidates and the media on disability issues, and protect eligible voters’ right to participate in elections.”

After registering this week, be sure to attend, physically or virtually, the 2018 Texas Disability Issues Forum on August 27th from 9am-2pm in Austin. 3 candidates have confirmed attendance at the forum. This event gives voters the opportunity to hear first-hand from candidates on their position on disability issues. Each candidate will have 30 minutes to answer questions, moderated by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Disability Issues Forum is a non-partisan event, it is not meant to be a candidate debate.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it is important to register to vote, educate yourself about the issues, and go to the polls.