In this video, three self-advocates from New Jersey and Virginia talk about the importance of voting, and specifically why you should vote early. Jesse Monroe, who has arthrogryposis, Barbara Coppens who has an intellectual disability, and Rob Targos who has cerebral palsy, each offer their opinions on the importance of casting your ballot. As Jesse says “Voting is important because it’s really when the citizens have power, and that includes…those of us with disabilities.”
Jesse continues, “Without people in office that care about issues [on] disabilities, nothing will change.”
As the people in this video highlight. It’s crucial that politicians take the needs of people into disabilities into account, and because as Barbara notes “They need to listen and hear our voices” and as Rob puts it, “We’ve been historically underrepresented or marginalized from different perspectives”
And in celebration of Vote Early Day, they are telling you that the best time to vote is now.
As Jesse notes, voting early is a great way to avoid the lines. As he says, “If you vote early, you’re ensured your vote counts.”
We encourage everyone to be like Barbara who, “As soon as it comes in the mail, I fill it out…and out it goes [to] the county drop off.”
To find out your early voting options, you can go to VoteEarlyDay.org and use their tool to find out where you can cast your ballot early, find a ballot drop off location, or learn the rules for voting by mail in your jurisdiction.
Special thanks to the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disability, the Virginia Board of People with Disabilities, and Disability Rights New Jersey.