Editorials: Removing Barriers To Voting For Americans With Disabilities Through Automatic Registration | Rabia Belt/Huffington Post
On the first night of last week’s Democratic National Convention, Anastasia Somoza, a disability rights advocate, stole the show, noting the “invisibility” millions of Americans with disabilities often feel, and reinforcing the need for unity that was the Convention’s intended theme. Hillary Clinton reminded Convention-goers of Somoza’s speech again as she accepted the Democratic presidential nomination. Somoza’s powerful speech was the most prominent of several efforts Convention organizers have made to highlight Americans with disabilities. These efforts may have been in response to Donald Trump’s apparent mockery of a reporter with a disability earlier in the campaign. But they also reflect recognition of America’s changing voter demographics. Voters with disabilities are what I’ve referred to as the “ticking time bomb of the electorate.” They have specific needs that the system currently does not address adequately, yet they are a growing demographic — up to 35 percent of voters in the next 25 years will need some type of accommodation to cast a ballot.