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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Disabilities in the 2020 Election

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in campaigns.

 Angela F. Williams at The Hill:

Almost 160 million Americans voted this year, the highest voter turnout rate since 1900. If anything, this election has shown us Americans can be mobilized to vote based on issues that matter to them. By that measure, it’s time to recognize the political clout of Americans with disabilities, whose projected voter turnout rate of 91 percent far surpassed that of the general populace at about 65 percent.

This research comes from“The State of Voters with Disabilities,” a survey Easterseals conducted with Pathfinder Opinion Research between Oct. 20-25 using a nationally representative sample of adults with disabilities. It found 89 percent of people with disabilities were registered to vote; 47 percent (or 15.9 million) had already voted; 49 percent (or 16.5 million) planned to “definitely” vote (44 percent) or “probably” vote (5 percent).

The top issues driving voters with disabilities to the polls were health care and COVID-19. Overwhelmingly, they were not satisfied with their elected officials’ performance; two-thirds gave them a negative performance rating when it comes to addressing the disability community’s most pressing issues.


Their second most pressing issue was strengthening constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of disability. This broad-based concern touches on employment issues, which range from the historically higher unemployment rates to lower pay; disruptions to life-sustaining transportation services; accessibility to physical and virtual environments; and more.