Trenton, NJ, October 27 – In the run up to the 2021 gubernatorial election in New Jersey, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its latest New Jersey State Voter Guide. According to the 2020 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, the total number of New Jerseyans with disabilities is 908,500, making up 10.4 percent of the total state population.
2019 employment data shows that there are 411,051 working-age people with disabilities in New Jersey. In the economic expansion before the COVID-19 pandemic, 163,968 (or 39.8 percent) of those New Jerseyans had a job.
The nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility has asked Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor the same seven key questions about issues affecting people with disabilities, including employment, education, criminal justice and accessibility. RespectAbility has sent multiple emails and placed many phone calls to the campaigns in order to solicit responses to the questionnaire.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D)
No response given
Jack Ciattarelli (R)
No response given
“The disability community is unique,” added Philip Kahn-Pauli, associate editor of The RespectAbility Report. “It is the only minority group that anyone can join at any time due to illness, injury or aging. What that means is that there are people with disabilities in every state, and that the community’s interests intersect with so many issues, including race, gender, poverty, criminal justice and inequality.”
According to a Rutgers University study, 14.3 million citizens with disabilities voted in 2018. Those voters will be crucial and can make the difference between a winning or a losing campaign.
For more information about how to register to vote, how to cast your ballot or to get assistance in voting, please visit the official website of the New Jersey Dept. of Elections.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. View more coverage of 2020 candidates and 2021 campaign outreach.