As the number of people with disabilities increases, so should voter turnout of people with disabilities. There is power in numbers. According to the US Census Bureau, 54 million Americans have a disability. That represents approximately 20%, or, 1 out of every 5 Americans. Think about what a huge impact could be made in regard to Local, State, and Federal government, policies, and services if every one of those 54 million people let their opinions and choices be known through The Power of the Disability Vote! In fact of all the minority groups this is the largest of them all, yet historically voting at a lower rate than the other groups. Access issues are slowly improving as voting officials make the polls more accessible and offer disability awareness training to the judges. People with disabilities have to keep reporting any problems to keep this process going.
- Voting empowers you. When you vote, you are making your opinion known, as well as shaping government and policies that may be important to you, your friends, your family, your community, your state, and your country.
- Voting impacts what and how issues are addressed. When people with similar interests or concerns organize as a unified community, AND VOTE, public officials are more likely to pay attention and respond. Organized groups of voters are also more likely to have easier and frequent access to their elected officials. Elected officials know who votes. If your community is turning out to vote well above other groups, elected officials will pay more attention, make more appearances, and make more appeals to your issues.
- Voters determine who runs for office. Wouldn’t it be nice if candidates were people who share similar experiences, backgrounds, and maybe even disabilities as you? People are far more likely to run for public office if they know that there is a high voter turnout among those who share their views. Are there any major issues at stake in your life (healthcare, education, employment, transportation, taxes)? Wouldn’t you like to know that your elected public officials personally relate to issues that are important to you?
- Voting is a positive civic action and connection to your community, and other people with disabilities. What you think might be good for you, might be of benefit to others as well.
- If you as a person with a disability have run into voting access issues, the process is getting more and more accessible and if you do run into difficulties there are people who want to help straighten that out in the county clerks office and if that fails there are voting hotlines listed below. You have a right to vote.
According to the US Census Bureau, 54 million Americans have a disability. That represents approximately 20%, or, 1 out of every 5 Americans. Think about what a huge impact could be made in regard to Local, State, and Federal government, policies, and services if every one of those 54 million people let their opinions and choices be known through The Power of the Disability Vote!
Register to vote at PACE!
Whether you have never registered to vote in Illinois, or you just need to change your address, PACE can help! Please call to schedule an appointment.
What are the Voter Registration requirements?
- Must be a US citizen;
- Must be at least 18 years of age by Election Day;
- Must have been a resident of the precinct at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
What forms of identification may be needed when I register to vote?
Two forms of identification are required showing your name, one must show your permanent residence, such as:
- Illinois driver’s license
- hunting or fishing license
- library card
- student identification
- copy of a lease or rent receipt showing your address
- any piece of mail delivered to you at your residence. (If you receive mail at a PO Box, please include this information with your street address.)
Get involved in advocacy efforts and alerts by joining PACE’s Legislative Tree!
We pass on to our advocates action alerts and important disability related information. You have the chance to contact your legislators before important votes that impact people who have disabilities are made.
HOTLINES FOR VOTER ACCESS CONCERNS IN ILLINOIS
In Champaign County, contact: Champaign County Clerk, 217/384-3720,
In Douglas County, contact: Douglas County Clerk, 217/253-2411
In Edgar County, contact: Edgar County Clerk, 217/466-7433
In Piatt County, contact: Piatt County Clerk, 217/762-9487
City of Danville, contact: Danville Election Commission, 217/554-1930
In Vermilion County, contact: Vermilion County Clerk, 217/554-1900
Equip for Equality Voting Rights Project:
(800) 610-2779 (TTY)
www.elections.il.gov – Illinois State Board of Elections
http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/districtofficialsearchbyaddress.aspx – District Officials Locator on IL State Board of Elections website
www.aapd.com – American Association of People with Disabilities
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