Enacted by Congress in 2002, HAVA sought to ensure that Americans with disabilities could vote independently and privately alongside their non-disabled peers. But has the law succeeded?
To answer that question, NCD gathered the experiences of nearly 900 voters with disabilities across the nation during the 2012 election cycle using an open-ended questionnaire which became the blueprint for the report. Experience of Voters with Disabilities also provides a comprehensive overview of how federal funds were used in an attempt to increase and insure voting access in the United States.
“The Experience of Voters with Disabilities report explores the physical barriers, attitudes, technological gaps, legislative hurdles, and polling place practices encountered by voters with disabilities in 2012,” said Jeff Rosen, NCD Chairperson. “By detailing how HAVA has improved voting access for Americans with disabilities in the past decade, we hope this report will be used to enhance civic participation in future elections and that our recommendations will be adopted by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration as part of its report which is scheduled to be released later this year.”
“People with disabilities make up approximately 1 in 5 of our nation’s population,” said Clyde Terry, Chair of NCD’s Policy Development & Program Evaluation Committee, “and yet 70% of polling places are still not accessible. A decade after the Help America Vote Act was signed into law meaningful action by election officials to guarantee the most fundamental right of all Americans – including those with disabilities – is not only warranted, it is long past overdue.”