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Vital Disability Voter Info

Washington, Nov. 8 – Below you will find  four up-to-the-minute resources to help you this election:

  1. State-by-state voter guides on what specifically candidates for president, governor and senate are saying on disability issues.
  2. Guides broken down by issue from candidates across the county.
  3. Straight Q&A’s with candidates on disability issues organized by state. If you do not see a candidate from a presidential, senate or gubernatorial race, it is because the candidate chose not to answer the questionnaire. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and all candidates were given an equal chance to make voters aware of their views on disability issues.
  4. Apps and information on where to vote, how to vote and who to contact if there is an issue. As voters go to the polls, it is vital to know that voters with disabilities have every right to vote. If you have a problem voting due to lack of access for disability, contact 866-OUR-VOTE, or other resources listed below, immediately. Please let us know as well by emailing LaurenA@RespectAbilityUSA.org. View all of this information on one place on our blog: Disability Voter Resource Guide.

NOW PLEASE GO VOTE! THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY IS 56 MILLION CITIZENS STRONG. SHOW YOUR POWER AT THE BALLOT BOX!

Utilizing candidate responses to both the down ballot and presidential campaign questionnaires, RespectAbility has released 51 state voter guides. View your state’s voter guide below:

Alabama Kentucky North Dakota
Alaska Louisiana Ohio
Arizona Maine Oklahoma
Arkansas Maryland Oregon
California Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Colorado Michigan Rhode Island
Connecticut Minnesota South Carolina
Delaware Mississippi South Dakota
Washington, D.C. Missouri Tennessee
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
Iowa New York Wisconsin
Kansas North Carolina Wyoming

RespectAbility fellows, young individuals with disabilities, compiled the responses and packaged stories by topic. Check them out for great policy answers from a wide variety of candidates:

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Disability Voter Resource Guide

Washington, Nov. 7 – As voters get ready to head to the polls tomorrow, many are concerned about various access issues from physical accessibility to voter ID laws. We’ve compiled resources provided by general Election Day voter rights organizations as well as those provided by various disability groups.

See below for apps and information on where to vote, how to vote and who to contact in case there is an issue. Voters with disabilities have every right to vote. If you have a problem voting due to lack of access for disability, contact 866-OUR-VOTE, or other resources listed below, immediately. Please let us know as well by emailing LaurenA@RespectAbilityUSA.org. Did we miss an important resource? Share with us and we’ll update this guide.

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Rhode Island’s Jim Langevin Completes #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Nov. 7 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate and gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Other down ballot candidates who requested a copy of the questionnaire also were invited to complete it. Democrat Rep. Jim Langevin, who is running for reelection for Rhode Island’s 2nd congressional district, completed the questionnaire. His opponent, Republican Rhue Reis, also was sent a copy but has not responded yet.

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Candidates Detail Disability Policy Positions

Washington, Nov. 4 – A new poll shows that voters are more likely to support candidates who prioritize education, employment and disability policies. So while it’s easy to get stuck in the horse race, readers and viewers are looking for coverage about these important issues. That’s even more true for the 56 million people with disabilities (one in five Americans), more than 35 million of whom are eligible voters (one-sixth of the electorate).

So RespectAbility, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities founded in 2013, asked candidates for president, governor and U.S. Senate 17 questions ranging from topics of employment and housing to education, healthcare and more. Thirty-nine down ballot candidates, including 26 for Senate and 11 for governor, from both sides of the aisle (24 Democrats, 14 Republicans, 1 Green Party) have responded so far, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. An additional nine candidates responded that they are not completing any questionnaires during this campaign season. The responses also are geographically diverse, coming from states all around the country as politicians are paying more and more attention to the disability community. This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.

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Poll Shows Addressing Disability Issues is a Winning Campaign Strategy

51% of likely voters say they personally, a family member, and/or a close friend has a disability

NEW bipartisan poll of likely voters presented by top pollsters, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, Ph.D., of Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican Pollster Whit Ayes, Ph.D., of Northstar Opinion.

Download the slide presentation (accessible PPT or PDF).

Washington, D.C. – A survey of 900 likely 2016 voters finds that by an overwhelming majority, voters are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes a series of policies to advance opportunities for people with disabilities. More than 8 out of 10 voters are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes “ensuring that children with disabilities get the education and training they need to succeed;” 61 percent are much more likely to support the candidate.

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Unveiling 51 State Voter Guides

Washington, Oct. 27 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the 2016 elections with the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility, founded in 2013, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. Utilizing candidate responses to both the down ballot and presidential campaign questionnaires, RespectAbility has released 51 state voter guides.

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North Carolina’s Linda Coleman Completes #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 21 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate and gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Other down ballot candidates who requested a copy of the questionnaire also were invited to complete it. Democrat Linda Coleman, who is challenging Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, completed the questionnaire. Forest also was sent a copy but has not responded yet.

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North Carolina’s Bruce Davis Completes #PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 21 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate and gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Other down ballot candidates who requested a copy of the questionnaire also were invited to complete it. Commissioner Bruce Davis, a Democrat running to represent North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District in Congress, completed the questionnaire. His opponent, incumbent Republican Rep. Ted Budd, also was sent a copy but has not responded yet.

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Jill Stein Talks Disability Rights in Texas

Washington, Oct. 20 – Until recently, when searching for where Green Party candidate Jill Stein stood on key disability issues, there are a number of pieces about her supposed views about vaccines and their link to autism, but little else was found. Multiple disability organizations have asked Stein to complete two different nonpartisan presidential questionnaires, but she has not yet done so. Hillary Clinton has completed both the #PwDsVote and REVUP questionnaires, while Donald Trump has completed the REVUP questionnaire.

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Delaware’s John Carney Completes #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 17 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Democrat Rep. John Carney, who is seeking the open governorship in Delaware, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities. Republican Colin Bonini, who also is running to be Delaware’s next governor, completed the questionnaire in August.

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Hawaii’s John Carroll Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 17 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Republican John Carroll, who is challenging Democrat incumbent Sen. Brian Schatz for the senate seat representing Hawaii, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

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Montana Gubernatorial Race Offers Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 17 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Montana, RespectAbility is releasing its Montana Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate and presidential races. Both Republican Greg Gianforte and incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities and have very different solutions to pressing problems. By both Senate candidates filling out the questionnaire, each of them communicates that disability issues matter to them.

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Montana’s Steve Bullock Responds to #PwDsVote Governor Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 17 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Democrat incumbent Gov. Steve Bullock, as well as his challenger Republican Greg Gianforte, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

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Ohio Senate Race Offers Opportunity to Highlight Disability Rights

Washington, Oct. 16 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Ohio, Respectability is releasing its updated Ohio Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate and presidential elections. Green Party candidate Joe DeMare, who is running against Democrat Ted Strickland and incumbent Republican Rob Portman, for the senate seat, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities. Portman and Strickland have not yet responded to the questionnaire.

Twenty-four additional candidates for Senate, as well as nine candidates for governor, from both sides of the aisle (20 Democrats, 13 Republicans, 1 Green Party) have responded so far, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country, as politicians are paying more and more attention to the disability community. On the presidential level, Democrat Hillary Clinton has completed the questionnaire while Republican Donald Trump has yet to do so.

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Ohio’s Joe DeMare Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 16 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. While Democrat Ted Strickland and Republican Rob Portman have not completed the questionnaire, Green Party candidate Joe DeMare, who requested a copy of the questionnaire from RespectAbility, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

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Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth Completes #PwDsVote Senate Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Oct. 14 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked senate candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

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The Importance of Down Ballot Elections for Disability Rights

Updated Oct. 17 to include additional candidate responses

Washington, Oct. 11 – While the presidential election has taken up much of the news cycle, attention also is shifting to who will control the Senate. As such, RespectAbility has reached out to candidates running for Senate as well as Governor in the 2016 elections with the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire  for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

Twenty-six candidates for Senate, as well as 11 candidates for governor, from both sides of the aisle(22 Democrats, 14 Republicans, 1 Green Party) have responded so far, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. An additional nine candidates responded that they are not completing any questionnaires during this campaign season. The responses also are geographically-diverse, coming from states all around the country, as politicians are paying more and more attention to the disability community.

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Maryland Senate Candidates Pledge to Work for People with Disabilities

Rockville, Md., Oct 11 – As voters get ready to head to the polls in Maryland, RespectAbility has released its Maryland Disability Voter Guide for the upcoming senate and presidential races. Both Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga and Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who are seeking the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, as well as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for people with disabilities and have very different solutions to pressing problems. By both Senate candidates filling out the questionnaire, each of them communicates that disability issues matter to them.

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Disability Issues Missing At Second Presidential Debate

Washington, Oct. 10 – For last night night’s town hall style debate, ABC and CNN welcomed questions submitted via the Open Debate Coalition’s portal. All of the top 30 questions that moderators promised to consider received more than 20,000 votes, and an important disability rights question had nearly 12,000 votes.

Yet none of the 30 – or the disability-related question, which was #52 of thousands – were asked, leaving the disability community lacking for information.

James Carter, an undecided African American voter from Missouri, asked a question that opened the door for both candidates to include people with disabilities, a minority group that represents one-in-five Americans.

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Trump’s PTSD Statements Further Stigma on Mental Health

Earlier this week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said that "strong" veterans do not have mental health problems like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), implying that those who do are "weak" and "can't handle it."

“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in the room have seen many times over. And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said to a room full of military veterans during an event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning. "And they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn’t see in a movie — nobody would believe it."

People with mental health disabilities, especially in the military, often do not seek help because of stigma surrounding mental health issues and the idea that asking for help is seen as being weak. When a major party presidential candidate perpetuates the idea that PTSD is a sign of weakness, that is dangerous for veterans and other people with PTSD who may not disclose their symptoms for fear that they are a sign of weakness.

But while many people jumped on these comments as being anti-veteran and anti-disability, the individual who asked the question, Marine Staff Sgt. Chad Robichaux, disagreed.

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