Every Veteran Should Be Allowed To Vote With Access To Polling Places
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own!
We are deep into election season and as a military spouse, woman and American, my vote is important to me. Voting is my way of being a part of the process and allowing me to have a say in my own government. Voting is something that every US citizen has a right to do.
I remember one of the very first times I was able to vote. I was in college and I had to go to a home where they had set up voting booths in their garage. I remember doing this with my Dad when I was a child and now it was my turn. My turn to make a choice and be a part of the election process. I was able to walk into their garage, go into the booth and vote just like everyone else that was there.
A lot of Americans don’t have to think twice about where they are going to vote. They know where they need to go and do so on election day, however, for some Americans, this isn’t possible. Americans with disabilities including Veterans and paralyzed Veterans can have trouble getting to the polls and voting. Whether it is because there is no way for them to get into the polling place or because it is impossible for them to physically vote because of how the voting booths are set up.
Laws to protect the voting rights of Americans with disabilities.
The good thing is that laws do protect the voting rights of Americans with disabilities. The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, the National Voter Registration Act and Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) have all allowed those with disabilities a better chance at getting to the polls to vote, however, there are still challenges.
In 2008, only 27% of polling places were accessible to people with disabilities. 46% of polling places had an accessible voting system that could pose a challenge to certain voters with disabilities. For example, those with wheelchairs could not use the voting stations.
A report by the National Council on Disability called the “Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle” found that 40% of those who responded to the questionnaire had encountered physical barriers at their polling places. 45% reported barriers inside the polling place involving voting machines.
54% of people with disabilities reported barriers to voting in the 2012 elections.
There are even more barriers for those with disabilities and getting to vote. From parking to having to wait in a long line to voter registrations can all make it that much harder for people to vote.
What We Can Do
It’s so important that every American, every veteran, every person is able to vote. That they can do so even with a disability. So what can be done to help? What can we do to change things? What can you do if you have a disability and are worried about being able to vote this election day?
To start, you can sign the petition with Paralyzed Veterans of America to add your name and join them in the fight toward protecting voting rights for every American. You can also get a Voter Access Toolkit with 5 free valuable resources:
- Get a guide to voter registration
- Find out tips for voters with disabilities
- Know the facts about available voting methods
- Learn about polling place access – from parking to ramps to entrances
- Find out how to file a complaint if you have polling place problems
Let’s work together to make sure all Americans are able to vote on election day!