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Voter Guide for 1 Million Virginians with Disabilities

Key actions and positions posted on the intersection of disability and education, jobs, immigration, climate crisis, criminal justice and more.

Richmond, VA September 19 – As early voting begins in the run up to the 2021 gubernatorial election in Virginia, the nonpartisan disability rights nonprofit RespectAbility has released its latest Virginia State Voter Guide. According to the 2020 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, there are 1,006,318 Virginians with disabilities, making up 12.1 percent of the total state population. 

Voters with disabilities want access in democracy, just like anyone else. At the same time, they have specific issues of interest. For example, in the economic expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only 43.3 percent of more than 491,000 working age (18-64) Virginians with disabilities had jobs. 

The nonpartisan disability group RespectAbility has asked Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor the same 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. Below you can read responses from candidates on the ballot in Virginia who have already taken the time to address the concerns of voters with disabilities.  

Candidates for Governor

“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 researchers at Rutgers University, 17.7 million voters with disabilities cast their ballots in the 2020 election and 14.3 million citizens with disabilities voted in 2018. These 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 Virginia Dept. of Elections.

RespectAbility is an official national partner of National Voter Registration Day 2021. To learn more about voting in your local elections and to sign up for more information, please visit the official website.

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.  

Published in#PwDsVote Voter GuideDemocratsGovernorsRepublicans

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