VOTE 2020: Resources for Disabled and Non-Speakers Voters in Maryland

Resources for Disabled & Non-Native Speaking Voters. The Google Docs will be updated periodically. Click the article for the links
Image ID: Resources for Disabled & Non-Native Speaking Voters. The Google Docs will be updated periodically. Click the article for the links. Text logo for the The Girl in the Pink Wheelchair

Thank you to my friend, Rosie, for choosing me as her first Eastern Shore activist in her ‘Why Vote Wednesday’ feature. Rosie is a local activist that is a woman of color, disabled, and all-around lovely human. I am so thankful to have connected with someone who gets me. If you’re not following her journey, you should!

I was thankful to be her first feature in her series. In it, I discussed some reasons why you should vote. I shared how I am one of the 11.4% disabled individuals in Maryland with a disability. We’re not discussing this.

We’re not talking about it feels to represent almost 12% the state population, but feel like you’re represented in ZERO present of the political arena. We deserve to be represented and have politicians that will represent us. When policies affect us at deep levels, it’s important to “show up,” to vote.

Vote for politicians for politicians who care and whose policies reflect the change that we need. Vote to show that your voice matters. Vote because it’s your right. Vote for whatever reason sets your soul or heart on fire. Vote because ultimately, your vote matters. Especially if you’re disabled or another minority that isn’t featured in the political sphere of politics. If you feel frustrated by the current state of politics, your vote allows you to choose candidates that reflect your values.

I started realizing that resources for disabled voters were really poor. There should be resources. The same way that there should be resources for voters who struggle with English.

I grew up in a family of immigrants. I am proud of mixing words. I am proud of mispronouncing words, proud of how it has shaped me, and proud of being in a family where I know what voting meant. Voting wasn’t easy, either, for people in my family who struggled with English.

Voting is not always accessible for those who struggle with English. And yes, they legally have the right to vote, even if they struggle. We don’t talk about the issues that non-native speakers may have at the voting booths. The same way that we don’t talk about the issues that wheelchair users (like me) have at the booths. Sometimes the very real issues get pushed under the rugs.

I have made these Google Documents to help fight these issues. There will soon be a Spanish equivalence for these. I encourage you to reach out with your advice, as well as make a video for #GoVoteWednesday.

Share why it matters. Share your experiences. Share why it counts. Tag Rosie and I. Share it with your friends and family. Get passionate. Share your passion. Share these resources. Follow Rosie’s project of “Why Vote Wednesday.” Keep speaking up! Do your thing. We love it.

Most of all, I say:
Let’s make Maryland and our world, a better place for people whose voices aren’t heard. We need a better world for everyone.

Love, Dom

Resources for Accessible Voter Outreach and Organizing

Resources for Eastern Shore MD Voters with Disabilities & Non-Native Speakers

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