Watch our new “My Vote Matters” music video now on YouTube!
The music video is a collaboration between DP staff and community advocate Jim Brennan, who performs weekly sing-alongs on social media with his son, Ian. Jim, Ian, community members, performers, and staff met at the DP office in Aurora this summer to film the video. Jim brought a stellar production team and a music therapist to help the stars shine. The goal of the video is to bring attention to voting rights in the disability community and encourage all Coloradoans, regardless of ability, to register to vote, learn about the candidates and ballot issues, and – most importantly – vote.
DP recognizes there can be many barriers to voting, especially for those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. According to the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD), in a study cited from Rutgers University, “If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2.35 million more voters.” Some numbers suggest closer to 3 million more voters.
“People with disabilities often rely on services and support systems funded by state and federal dollars to access important resources like housing, education, and medical care,” says DP’s Associate Director for Disability Policy, Kim Tenure. “Voting is critical for this community because what’s on the ballot may impact their ability to be included in key decisions.”
Voter turnout for people with disabilities increased from the 2016 to 2020 election for a variety of reasons, including more awareness and changes in requirements due to COVID-19, which made voting more accessible. In Colorado, in addition to the requirements for accessible polling locations, people with disabilities can also take advantage of mail-in and electronic ballots.
In 2020 DP launched its first organized voter engagement initiative with the goal of creating a nonpartisan campaign that advocates for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or delays in all stages of life. As part of the ongoing campaign, DP works with members of all political parties, shares educational resources, and creates influential partnerships. Each year it evolves to meet the community’s needs, and this year is no different. Along with creating its first music video, DP onboarded a voter engagement intern and will release a ballot guide in October.
Watch and share our music video, and most importantly, get registered, educated, and vote! To register to vote and learn more about voting in Colorado, visit www.GoVoteColorado.gov.
The DP Voter Engagement team will develop and distribute nonpartisan informational resources via blog posts, social media, and videos from now through the fall. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay updated on new materials and upcoming activities and events. We look forward to connecting with you!
If you have any questions about voter engagement, please email Kim Tenure at firstname.lastname@example.org.