by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker - With the election quickly approaching (it's a week away now!), we spoke with longtime SKIL board member Susan Roberson, who has a disability herself, about the things she believes disabled people should remember when going to the polls (or voting from home).
“The main thing is, you need to know who is running,” Roberson says. “You need to find out exactly what they stand for. For us in the disability world, Medicaid expansion is an important issue. A lot of us have been pushing and pushing to get that passed for years. You want to know these things, and you want to make sure that whoever you vote for, whether it's for local office, state, or the country, you know what their views are on these issues that affect us. You want to find out if their views on every issue take the disability community into consideration. For a lot of people, the disabled are the last thing they think about, so it's up to us to make sure the candidates we support have our best interests at heart.”
Beyond this, she urges disabled voters to consider whether their candidates want SSI and social security raised or lowered. “People can't live like that. They're already some of the lowest paid people there are.”
She also wants people with disabilities to have a plan on how they will vote or go to the polls come election day. She urges people to make sure they have transportation arranged in advance and know where their proper polling location is. In addition, she says if you are planning to vote in advance, that you get your ballot in as quickly as possible.
“One of the smartest things I ever did was get an absentee ballot,” she says. “Because I don't drive and I have to depend on someone else to get me to the polls. If I can't get a ride at the last minute, I don't get to vote. And for myself, if I don't vote, I don't get to gripe.”