‘Able to Vote’ organization aims to bridge the voter turnout gap for Minnesotans with disabilities

Polling location with ADA accessible aspects
Polling location with ADA accessible aspects(kbjr 6/cbs 3)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - A new Minnesota organization is sharing various resources and information to people with disabilities so they can cast their ballot without complications.

Minnesota disability advocates say, statewide, there is a 19.5% voter turnout gap between those with disabilities and those without disabilities.

That’s why a group of people with disabilities formed “Able to Vote,” hope to help other people who face similar obstacles at the polls.

“At this point, it’s a demographic that isn’t as reached out to or welcomed into the civic-sphere so we want to make that world more welcoming and hospitable to folks with disabilities” Executive Director of Able to Vote, Grace Gouker Littlefield, said.

David Fenley, with Minnesota Disability Council, said in some places across Minnesota, accessibility at the polls is lacking.

“A polling site that doesn’t have disability parking, or a disability parking site that does have disability parking but is full or a polling site that doesn’t have an accessible entrance or a polling site where the accessible voting machine isn’t set up or set up properly,” Fenley said.

Littlefield said the issues continue, and the organization wants to inform people about what they can do so their voices and votes are accounted for.

“Each person is different in what challenges they face and that’s kind of why we exist too because the lives of voters can be complex and we want to provide person-centered solutions for voters,” Littlefield said.

“Organizations like this keep the conversation going, both about accessibility and about the importance to vote for folks with disabilities,” Fenley said.

For information on Able to Vote, you can click here.

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