Election Day is almost a year away. The Iowa Caucus is less than two months away, with the New Hampshire primary following shortly after. It’s imperative to get the disability vote out in record numbers on Election Day in 2012. In the last presidential election, we established a compelling voting block of 14.7 million voters by following the motto set by Justin Dart: “Vote as if your life depends on it because it does!”
Although 14.7 million of us voted in 2008, 42.7 percent of eligible voters in our community did not.
An effective get out the vote plan begins with identifying people with disability interests who you will get to vote. The fact that 42.7 percent of us did not vote in the last presidential election reflects that just voting yourself is not enough. Each of us has to become a get out the disability vote “block captain” in the presidential primaries. Though every election is important, the primaries are especially significant because they frame the issues for the general election.
As our voter turnout in the general election is improving, our turnout in the primaries is dismal. For instance, only 8 to 15 percent of us vote in primaries. Above all, getting out a strong voting block in the primary season is a way to garner media attention on issues that affect our community of fifty-four million strong. Now is the time to start organizing voters with disabilities in your state for the primary.