Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Help America Vote Act Increases Voting Numbers in the Disability Community

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has announced that the voter turnout of Americans with disabilities was only 7 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities in the November 2008 election.

Researchers conducting the study, Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, professors at the School of Management and Labor Relations from Rutgers University who have extensively studied the disability community, also found that 3.8 million more people with disabilities voted in the 2008 presidential election than the 2000 presidential election. They found that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was one of the leading factors in causing this change.

HAVA established a program to provide funds to States to replace punch card voting systems, formed an Election Assistance Commission to assist in the administration of Federal elections and to otherwise provide assistance with the administration of certain Federal election laws and programs, and established minimum election administration standards for States and units of local government. Most importantly, the act, one that the National MS Society strongly supported at the time, mandated that voting be accessible.

Thanks to HAVA, those of the disability community are now more strongly inclined to play an active role in the government.
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