Currently 37 states require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls. Many people with disabilities and over 7 million seniors don’t have a valid driver’s license.
The experience at the polls on voting day can be full of excitement and freedom. For people with disabilities this simple freedom has many obstacles that cause many to opt for voting by absentee ballot.
One in nine voters in America is disabled and with all the difficulties that come with voting, many may not show up to the polls this year.
Currently 37 states require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls. Many people with disabilities and over 7 million seniors don’t have a valid driver’s license. Another obstacle at the polls is accessibility. Although all polls should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, only about one-third of polling places are 100% barrier free. Many polls skip out on the rule by allowing absentee voting, voting by mail or offering curbside voting.
For many people living with disabilities the only option is to vote absentee. For some this sends a clear message that they are not fully welcome in the political sphere. Studies have shown that turnout among voters with disabilities is lower than those living without disabilities. This is not due to lower interests. They are greatly affected by the issues but find it difficult to participate.
Absentee voting is a great option but it shouldn’t be the substitute. Voting should be easy and accessible to all.