Why Election Protection: Voters with Disabilities

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Why Election Protection is a blog series highlighting the importance of nonpartisan election protection programs and the work of Civic Nebraska to protect voters in the upcoming general election.

As part of our nonpartisan election protection program, Civic Nebraska collaborates with our friends at Disability Rights Nebraska to incorporate key data into our observation program. By working together, we can increase the amount of data collected and identify shortcomings in accessibility to Nebraska elections. Accessibility is more than just having a ramp in addition to stairs – everything, from the type of doorknob to the width of the hallway, impact the physical accessibility of a polling place.

538-article-voting-difficulties-graphicAccording to a recent article on FiveThirtyEight, an estimated “one in six eligible voters has a disability” and these individuals experience difficulty with various aspects of the voting experience at a higher rate than voters without disability.

So how do we decrease the impact on voters with disabilities and ensure equal accessibility?

We create meaningful policy changes in elections, how they are run and resources available, and that requires data, personal stories, and ideas on how we can improve accessibility. For Civic Nebraska, that process starts with our election protection program. We collect data on election resources available, observe interactions between voters and election officials, make note of physical accessibility of the polling place, and accessibility of the ballot itself.

And to do all this, we need you.

We are recruiting volunteers to serve as nonpartisan election observers for the general election November 8th. Volunteer shifts are two-hours with a one-hour mandatory training to be held in October. Interested in volunteering? Sign up online or contact our Director of Voting Rights at bri.mclarty@civicnebraska.org or at (402) 904-5191

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