HomevotingTo My American Readers, Get Out and Vote!

Despite all the hype over early voting, tomorrow is the official voting day. If you’re registered, but have not yet gone out to vote, I strongly encourage you to do so. These are all the reasons why I’m getting out to do so early tomorrow morning.

WE Make the Change
Though I haven’t written much about it lately, taking part in contacting representatives of all levels and making our voices heard is how we create change in our culture. Those of us who have any sort of disability are consistently the first ones to lose services when elected officials look for programs to cut.

The only way we can stop this from happening is to vote in people who are willing to continue fighting for our rights as hard as everyone else’s. If you need assistance at the polling place, you have the right to get it. Regardless of your ability level, your vote matters. The more of us who vote, the better.

That failing, the louder we are, the more likely someone is to listen.

A black and white photo of men and women standing around a voter registration table.

Leffler, Warren K, photographer. Black, White people voting together – Md. November 6, 1962. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/2016646466/>.

Make Their Sacrifices Worth It
I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot, thanks to one of my classes. Our country was founded on the concept of freedom, but equality still has a long way to go. In the beginning, only landowning white men were able to take part in the political process. It was only through immense struggle, and often bloodshed, that people of color and women were finally able to get that right, as well.

Like most aspects of disability history, the fight for our right to vote has flown mostly under the radar. We may not have been expressly forbidden from the act, but inaccessibility had made it impossible. There are still polling places that must be made accessible for people with mobility challenges, everyone is at least protected under the ADA.

We Raise Our Voices For Those Who Cannot
This is a big one for me. Not everyone living in this country can vote. Our children under the age of 18 can’t vote. Immigrants who are not yet citizens can’t vote. Those who have yet to be born obviously can’t vote. This is how we make the country better for them as well as for ourselves.

And don’t forget the local races, either. Our elected representatives work as the checks and balances for the president. Our judges pass down decisions on court cases which provide a basis for future laws. School board members help mold our schools.

Our voices have power. It’s up to us to use them.

 

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