Early Voting

Angelina Vu

October 25, 2022

Early voting in 2022 has already begun for the midterm elections. Early in-person voting allows voters more opportunities to cast their ballots at the polls. Not only that, but it also offers flexibility for those with busy schedules. Are you planning to take the opportunity to vote early?

Here's what you need to know about early voting for the midterm elections.

If you are looking for information on when early voting begins and ends, locations, hours, and days by state, please visit the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) website. The site thoroughly lists what to do for early in-person voting.

Tips for Early Voting

Make sure you are researching important information, such as specifics on eligibility and voter registration requirements by state, as not all states operate in the same way. Many states offer information on polling places to help you look up your local voting site. In addition, you can use the National Association of Secretaries of State's website (NASS) to find a polling place near you.

It is also important to note that most states do not require you to bring your voter registration card to the polls.  However, most states expect you to provide a form of ID to vote in person. Use this map for your state's voter laws to determine what form of ID you need to vote in person or if you can vote without an ID.

Voting and Disability

Now that we know a little more about early in-person voting let's talk about voting and disability. The Easterseals, in partnership with AARP, released the second "State of Voters with Disabilities Survey" which found that 92 percent of Americans with disabilities (age 50+) plan to vote in the 2022 midterm election. The survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of people with disabilities, and an oversample of adults with disabilities 50+, from August 23-29, 2022, by Pathfinder Opinion Research. The survey results show an estimated 33 million registered voters with disabilities. That's wonderful. 

Another important note is that 61 percent of American voters with disabilities (age 50+) rely on early voting methods to participate in the election. Only 39 percent will vote in person. This statistic showcases just how important it is to have early voting methods. 

In addition to this, 43 percent of voters with disabilities require at least one accommodation to vote when it comes to in-person voting. This can include transportation assistance to a voting location, a wheelchair at their voting site, or a braille ballot or sign-language interpreter. Accessibility is crucial. 

Lisa Schur, professor and co-director of the Rutgers Program for Disability Research, stated, "If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as other Americans, there would have been 1.75 million more voters in 2020". She pointed out, "Part of the disability gap is due to inaccessible voting systems, which not only make it physically difficult to vote but also send a psychological message that people with disabilities are not welcome in the political sphere." There is a big glaring issue, and accessibility for everyone is crucial to solving it.

Despite this, we are seeing candidates with disabilities running campaigns for elected positions at local, state, and national levels of government in the United States in 2022. 

The NCIL has compiled these candidates in a database. This database is strictly for informational purposes.

Do your research about the candidates but also on the polling locations. Then, make a plan for when you will vote. Issues that are important to the disability community are always on the ballot. Don't sell yourself short—your vote matters. 

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