Disability and Voting Turnout in 2016

Rutgers professors Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse have a new fact sheet on turnout from people with disabilities. Their “key points:”

  • 6.0 million people with disabilities reported voting in the November 2016 elections.
  • The voter turnout rate of people with disabilities was 6 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities.
  • Employed people with disabilities, however, were just as likely as employed people without disabilities to vote, suggesting that employment helps bring people with disabilities into mainstream political life.
  • The voter registration rate of people with disabilities was 2 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities. The lower voter turnout was due both to a lower registration rate among people with disabilities, and to lower turnout among those who are registered.
  • If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.2 million more voters.

Lots of barriers to voting for disabled Americans. Employment matters, though I suspect more of a correlation than causation here. Anyway, the data is useful. READ THE WHOLE THING.

I tend to want to see disability politicized, by which I do not mean made more partisan, but so that people vote based on disability related policy issues. I.e. people who voted to destroy Medicaid should be driven from office.

I previously covered some of Schur’s work here.

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