Happy National Disability Voter Registration Week! The REV UP Campaign was launched by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) as a nonpartisan initiative and stands for “Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power.” By coordinating with national, state, and local organizations, REV UP works to ensure that the disability community is registered and ready to vote in upcoming elections.
These advocacy efforts are important as the disability vote has never been stronger – 1 in 4 U.S. adults lives with a disability. Despite being twice as likely to face voting barriers as people without disabilities, voters with disabilities have continued to demonstrate their political power each election. According to AAPD, 17.7 million of the over 38 million eligible voters with disabilities participated in the 2020 elections.
The importance and political power of the disability community continues to grow when we consider the ripple effect that legislation impacting people with disabilities has on communities – it’s a vote that connects families, friends, advocates, educators, and providers. There is incredible potential to bring disability rights to the forefront and to hold elected officials accountable for policies and decisions that impact people with disabilities. Through voting, we can create more inclusive and accessible communities, where people with disabilities have equal access to employment, community living, education, transportation, healthcare, and more. When we work to make our communities more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities, it benefits us all.
What are the requirements for registering to vote?
To register and vote in Minnesota, you must be:
• A U.S. citizen
• At least 18 years old on Election Day
• A resident of Minnesota for 20 days
• Finished with all parts of a felony sentence
Unless a judge has specifically revoked your right to vote, you can register and vote if you:
• Are under guardianship
• Are under conservatorship
• Gave someone power of attorney
• Have a brain injury
• Have a developmental disability
• Have a cognitive impairment
• Experience memory loss
Make your voice heard! Wondering whether you are registered to vote? You can check your voter registration status by visiting: https://bit.ly/3mKwbFD
If you are not currently registered to vote, you can do so online by visiting: https://bit.ly/38mVHbE or download a paper application to complete and mail or drop off at either your county election office, or to:
Secretary of State
60 Empire Dr.
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Paper applications are available in multiple languages and you can request alternative formats such as Braille by contacting: 1-877-600-8683.
The deadline to register online is October 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (21 days before Election Day). The deadline to register on paper is October 12, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (21 days before Election Day). Otherwise, you can register on Election Day at your polling place. If you have any questions, contact the Minnesota Secretary of State by visiting: mnvotes.org, or by calling 1-877-600-8683.
What accommodations are available for voters?
Voting in Minnesota is required by law to be accessible. These accommodations include:
• Polling places must be physically accessible.
• Voters have the option to receive assistance from others. Voters can bring anyone to assist them while voting, or the voter can receive assistance from their election judges.
• Voters have the option to sign in orally. Voters have the right to orally confirm their identity and ask another person to write their name if the voter cannot sign their name.
• Voters can use an accessible voting machine, which is available at most polling places. These voting machines can mark a ballot for you, while giving voters privacy.
• Curbside voting is also available. Voters can ask a ballot to be brought out to them if they cannot easily leave their vehicle. Two election judges from different parties will bring out a ballot, and when the voter finishes casting their ballot, the election judges will bring the ballot inside and to the ballot box.
To learn more about assistance with voting, visit: https://bit.ly/3Dx7r9O