New Rutgers Report Shows Turnout by Voters With Disabilities Surged in 2018

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A new report from Rutgers University professors Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse finds that turnout among voters with disabilities surged in 2018 – although still lagging behind the rate of voters without disabilities. Here’s the summary from the report:

• Voter turnout surged by 8.5 points in 2018 among citizens with disabilities relative to the
2014 midterm elections. The surge, though, was slightly larger among citizens without
disabilities (11.9 points), resulting in a 4.7 point gap in voter turnout between citizens
with and without disabilities in 2018.

• The increased turnout among people with disabilities occurred across all disability types
and demographic categories—gender, race/ethnicity, age group, and region.

• 14.3 million citizens with disabilities reported voting in the November 2018 elections.

• Employed people with disabilities were just as likely as employed people without
disabilities to vote, suggesting that employment helps bring people with disabilities into
mainstream political life.

• If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have
the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.35 million more voters.

The data is drawn from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Voting Supplement – and you can see the change in turnout over time in this graph from the report:

The data confirms that voters with disabilities were, like most other voters, motivated to participate at higher rates in last year’s midterm election.  Thanks to Rutgers’ Schur and Kruse for their work on this report; these figures should be a signal to the entire election community that focusing on access to the ballot for voters with disabilities remains a high priority for what is also likely to be a high-turnout election in 2020 – and beyond. Stay tuned …

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