Raleigh, NC: Today, Disability Rights NC launched North Carolina’s first voter information website designed specifically to address the barriers people with disabilities face in the voting process: www.accessthevotenc.org.
People with disabilities vote at a lower rate than the general population, often because they lack good information or fully accessible voting options. If people with disabilities were to vote at the same rate as everyone else, there would be around 3 million more votes cast in the upcoming election.
“This isn’t your ordinary voter information website,” says Matthew Herr, Policy Analyst for Disability Rights NC. “Accessthevotenc.org has a simple, accessible interface that walks voters through every step of the process, from learning if they are eligible to vote, to registering to vote, and to casting their vote in person, from home, or from a residential facility.”
The website also gives voters with disabilities an easy way to report violations of their rights, for instance if they encounter an inaccessible voting location or if someone won’t let them register or vote based on stereotypes about people with disabilities. “Making the process feel straightforward is key,” says Herr. “Voting when you have a disability can seem twice as hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing your rights is the first step to voting this November.”
To encourage voters with disabilities to vote in November, Disability Rights NC is running a campaign titled “I Have a Disability, and I Vote!” Throughout September and October, we encourage people with disabilities to submit their photo, along with their name and one or two sentences about why voting matters to them. Disability Rights NC will publish entries on its Facebook page from now until election day. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted on Facebook or Twitter using #accessthevotenc.