Help Libraries Eliminate Barriers to Voting for 34 Million Americans
At EveryLibrary, we want to help libraries eliminate barriers to voting for over 34 million Americans with disabilities.
National Disability Voter Registration Week is an annual campaign that is designed to increase the political power of people with disabilities while also engaging candidates and the media to recognize the disability community.
I am extremely proud of the work that we have been doing with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and with libraries across the country to ensure that no Americans are denied their right to vote. Through our partnership with AAPD and our national network of libraries, we have been able to sign up over 140 libraries in 46 states to take part in the July 17 - 21 nationwide campaign to register voters during NDVRW.
While each library is supporting NDVRW in their own unique way, I am excited to share some projects that I truly admire:
- The South Carolina State Library is working in a big way to encourage all libraries in the state to take part in the campaign by creating and distributing a South Carolina specific guide for libraries and their local partners.
- Hartford (CT) Public Library is partnering with the Registrar of Voters office to provide tablets for voters with disabilities, and someone to demonstrate how to use it. The new stand-alone, tablet-based registration system requires no telephone or internet service and is intended to be adaptable to a variety of assistive technologies. The library is partnering with HARC (a local nonprofit serving people with intellectual and related disabilities), who is sending their vans to the library so that participants can learn about the new technology and how it works.
- In Spokane WA., SPL is hosting several events to raise awareness, along with a targeted outreach effort to get more citizens registered to vote. Librarians will be educating the community about the barriers to voting and inform people about their options to vote. The library will have staff at each location to sign up citizens for library cards, promote the collections that people with disabilities can use such as audiobooks, eBooks and large print materials.
This kind of work is a critical part of the effort by librarians across the country to ensure that all our neighbors who want to vote can vote. Librarians are working hard to ensure that Americans, regardless of race, gender, economic status, or ability, are not denied their rights as citizens. Your library can sign up to be a NDVRW site this July 17 - 21. When you do, you'll receive the free EveryLibrary / AAPD guide to putting on a successful event in your community.
I can’t think of any other government organization that fights harder for its community than libraries. And that is why EveryLibrary fights so hard to support libraries. If you can spare just $10 to help us continue this fight to ensure that libraries can provide critical services to their communities, it will make a big difference. That’s because, through our political work, for every $1 we raise for our work for libraries, we can help raise over $1,600 in library funding.
Patrick "PC" Sweeney
Political Director, EveryLibrary