Different advocates with disabilities talk about the right to vote in the United States, why it is important that people with disabilities cast their vote, and how they can register in their state or territory to vote. This video was produced by Rooted in Rights in partnership with the National Disability Rights Network, the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Disability Rights New York, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, and Disability Rights Washington.
Narrator: Are you planning to vote?
Larry: I am planning to vote.
Noah: Yes, I am planning to vote.
Ivanova: Yes I am, definitely planning on voting, I'm excited for my ballot to come in the mail!
Ladd: I am planning on voting.
Jezzy: Yes, I am planning to vote.
Rachel: Technically, I'm not able to vote, but when I do turn eighteen, I'm planning on, first of all, registering to vote, I plan on getting my ballot in the mail.
Narrator: Why vote?
Noah: It's your opportunity to cast your opinion on how you wanna see society run.
Larry: To have your voice heard.
Ladd: Voting is definitely one of the major rights of an adult.
Rachel: We've worked so hard to get our voting rights.
Ivanova: In America, we've fought long and hard for a long time to vote. That's what we were fighting for, to be able to have democracy.
Narrator: Should people with disabilities vote?
Noah: If people with disabilities, or other marginalized groups aren't able to vote, then their voices aren't heard, and their opinions aren't taken into consideration.
Rachel: We're still people, we're still human beings.
Ladd: It is the best option to make sure that we get our rights, by voting on things that affect us.
Ivanova: There's a lot of things that our government has done that has either helped people with disabilities because of how people voted, and there's a lot of things that have been done that have hurt people with disabilities.
Ladd: If you can get your voices heard, then you personally get more independence.
Rachel: It's kind of our way into adulthood here, like "Hey, we get to finally have a say."
Ivanova: Which is very important for people with disabilities, for everyone to be more engaged in their community.
Rachel: We finally have a voice in what should happen and what things need to change.
Narrator: What can my vote change?
Noah: Voting can affect the people that are representing you in our Senate and House.
Ivanova: Who we decide to elect to be leaders of our government.
Jezzy: I vote for the president.
Noah: Judges who are going to make decisions on cases and how laws should be interpreted.
Larry: Laws definitely make a change in people's lives.
Rachel: New wheelchair ramps.
Ivanova: Health care needs.
Noah: Assisted suicide.
Rachel: Some closed captioning on new devices.
Noah: If you have to start paying for parking.
Larry: Things can change, and things can get better.
Noah: So, you can really make change both in your own community and then on the national level.
Narrator: But I don't know how...
Larry: When you're a person with a disability, and you think maybe sometimes you can't do things, especially vote on your own, you know, you're not always alone and you can always, definitely ask somebody for help.
Jezzy: Ask your family and friends to help you.
Noah: You shouldn't be told because you have a disability that you can't vote because that's just not true.
Narrator: Step 1, register.
Larry: Once you turn eighteen, register to vote at this link: rootedinrights.org/disabilityvote
Narrator: Step 2, research.
Noah: So, learn about the issues.
Ivanova: There's a lot of resources online that talk about the different candidates.
Noah: There's town halls that you can go to, to learn about issues.
Ivanova: Watching the news helps me be aware of the larger elections.
Noah: There's talking to your community members.
Ivanova: There's videos that you can find that talk in more simpler language about different political issues.
Narrator: Step 3, vote!
Ladd: There are many, many ways to vote, you could go to your polling booth in person.
Narrator: All voting locations are required to have at least one accessible voting booth. Accessible voting booths may be different depending on your county.
Ladd: You could send it through the mail.
Narrator: You can sign up to have your ballot mailed to you once you register to vote.
Ladd: Nowadays, there are websites out there for voting for the internet.
Narrator: Online voting and voting by mail are not available everywhere. Check our website to see if it's available in your county, state or territory.
Jezzy: Voting is really easy.
Ivanova: Just click on that link.
Rachel: Let's do this!
Narrator: For more information, go to rootedinrights.org/disabilityvote. Produced by Rooted in Rights, in partnership with the National Disability Rights Network, the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, Disability Rights New York, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, and Disability Rights Washington.
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