Elections and Voting

The Coelho Center commissed a poll with Lake Research Partners on the Disability Electorate in October 2018.  

The Coelho Center fielded a poll of adults in early October 2018 that allowed us to break out people with disabilities and the disability community to compare their views with that of the general public on vote likelihood and motivation, as well as what they would like the next Congress to take action on.

People with disabilities are a significant voting bloc, making up 19% of likely voters. They are on average eight points more likely to rate all issues they want Congress to take action on as “extremely important” to them. People with disabilities say the most important issue they would like Congress to take action on is Social Security, followed by healthcare and Medicare. The poll also found that people with disabilities are more likely to have a household income of under $30,000 annually and more likely to rent their home.  

The disability community, defined as people with disabilities and people who have a family member or close friend with a disability, makes up 57% of the population and is also more likely to rate issues as “extremely important” to them. Healthcare is the top issue for this community as well, with 47% rating it “extremely important.”

Likely voters with disabilities are more Republican than people with disabilities overall. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of likely voters with disabilities identify as Democrats while 45% identify as Republicans. However, likely voters with disabilities voted more Democratic than their partisanship on a generic congressional ballot, evenly splitting their vote between the Democrats and Republicans. Likely voters in the disability community are a Democratic cohort, voting ten points more Democratic on a generic congressional ballot, compared to seven points Democratic among all likely voters.

Find more information here: 2018 Poll Disability Electorate


REV UP: Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power

The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation is proud to partner with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in their REV UP Campaign.  

"The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political participation of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. AAPD works with state and national coalitions on effective, non-partisan campaigns to address the concerns of people disabilities, eliminate barriers to voting, promote accessibility of voting; educate communities about issues and candidates; promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country; and engage candidates and the media on disability issues."


Resources/ News 

The importance of the vote of people with disabilities cannot be understated. In the last few months major publications have looked at the impact of people with disabilities at the polls. 

Fact sheet: Disability and Voter Turnout in the 2018 Elections

Voter Turnout Surged Among People With Disabilities Last Year. Activists Want to Make Sure That Continues in 2020

A Study Predicts Surge In Disability Voters In 2020


NDRN and Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI) have "Why the Census Matters for People with Disabilities: A Guide to the 2020 Census Operations & Challenges". The brief provides an overview of relevant census operations and discusses why the census matters for people with disabilities.