Austin, TX, July 17- Advocacy groups all across Texas are teaming up to bring state and national attention to the voting power of the disability community. On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 10:00 AM, the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, Texas Civil Rights Project, REV UP Texas, Disability Rights Texas, the Austin League of Women Voters and Register2Vote will facilitate a press conference to discuss the value of the disability vote; what everyday citizens can do to expand outreach and get-out-the-vote efforts; and how Texas is on the forefront of this national movement.
July 16-20, 2018 is National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW). NDVRW is a nationwide campaign which aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. In 2016, according to Rutgers University, people with disabilities accounted for 35.4 million eligible voters nationwide. When you add family members in the same household; that number increases to 62.7 million eligible voters, or 25% of the total electorate. The state of Texas has an estimated 2 million registered voters with disabilities.
REV UP Texas, a collaboration of nonprofit organizations and self-advocates working to get more Texans with disabilities registered and voting, wants to see the visibility of the disability vote increase. Please join us at our press conference and followed by Volunteer Deputy Registrar training on July 18 at Disability Rights Texas located at 2222 West Braker Lane in Austin.
Featured speakers at the press conference from 10:00 AM-11:00 AM include:
1. Christina Adkins, Texas Secretary of State, Elections Division
2. Mimi Marziani, President, Texas Civil Right Project
3. Cinde Weatherby, Vice President of Voter Services, League of Women Voters-Austin Chapter
4. Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar
5. Jeremy Smith-Register2Vote
Jeff Miller, Voting Rights Policy Specialist with Disability Rights Texas, will emcee the press conference.
Volunteer Deputy Registrar training will follow from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. The course certifies people to not only distribute voter registration cards but to also collect them, making it easier for more people, including those with disabilities, to register to vote in Travis County.
The public and the media are invited to attend both the press conference and the training. Both events are free.
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Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.