MARIN COUNTY, CA – In honor of National Disability Voter Registration Week, the Marin County Elections Department and the nonprofit Marin Center for Independent Living are partnering July 17-21 to promote voter registration for people with disabilities.
The effort is part of the second annual REV UP event sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
The REV UP campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. Researchers at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations determined that in 2016 a projected 35.4 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote in the November 2016 election, representing close to one-sixth of the total electorate.
“We don’t know how many people with disabilities reside in Marin County and are eligible to vote but not registered,” said Registrar of Voters Lynda Roberts, “but we hope National Disability Voter Registration Week will raise awareness throughout the county.”
The San Rafael-based MCIL plans to coordinate with the Elections Department to provide voter registration opportunities in several locations around the county.
“Voting is pivotal for people with disabilities,” said Peter Mendoza, Director of Advocacy and Special Projects for MCIL. “It’s a fundamental right to be able to vote and truly achieve full inclusion in the community as well as achieve full economic opportunities. Our voice needs to be heard in all levels of government. Our vote counts.”
In addition, EveryLibrary, a national organization created to foster library funding and support, is partnering with AAPD to raise awareness. The Marin County Free Library’s Novato and Marin City branches will take part in the national event as will the San Rafael Public Library. Registration forms will be available at the libraries. Events are scheduled weeklong at MCIL in San Rafael; at the Marin City Library on Wednesday, July 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and at the Marin County Civic Center Café (3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 237, San Rafael) on Friday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Since the 2016 elections, the public has shown a greater interest in government activity, so I think people are realizing the importance of voting,” Roberts said. “Registration is continuous all year, but events such as NDVRW help raise…