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Experience of Voters with Disabilities in the 2012 Election Cycle

Authors: National Council on Disability


This report examines the impact of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 by documenting the experiences of voters with disabilities during the 2012 general election cycle. The National Council on Disability (NCD) documented these accounts using an open-ended questionnaire, through which NCD gathered the experiences of nearly 900 voters with disabilities across the nation during the 2012 election.

This report provides a snapshot of architectural, attitudinal, technological, legislative, and voting practice barriers that confronted voters with disabilities in the 2012 general election cycle, and provides an overview of the use of federal funds, activities, and outcomes under HAVA for people with disabilities over the past decade. Incorporating data from the 2012 NCD Voter Experience Questionnaire and stories and anecdotes from the voters themselves around the country, the report documents experiences and offers concrete policy and procedural recommendations to improve voter participation and accessibility for citizens with disabilities now and in future elections.

In its executive summary, the NCD reported the following 5 findings and provided a set of recommendations for each:

1. People with disabilities continue to face barriers in exercising their voting rights because of architectural and physical barriers at registration and polling sites.

2. Voters with disabilities do not have equal access to voting systems because states and localities have not invested adequate resources, planning, and training to provide reliable, accessible voting technology.

3. Voters with disabilities face discrimination at voter registration and polling sites resulting from poorly trained election personnel and volunteers.

4. The Federal Government plays a vital role in ensuring the integrity of the election process in the United States.

5. The enforcement role of the Department of Justice is critical to compliance with federal statutes by states and localities.

-Descriptions taken from the report listing and executive summary on the National Council on Disability website viewed on 12/3/13 (www.ncd.gov/publications/2013/10242013/)

Contact Info:
Organization:National Council on Disability
Address:1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004

Web Links

Homepage of the report

Download the executive summary as a Word document

Download the full report as a PDF file

Download a one-page summary as a Word document

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