Significantly more people with disabilities cast ballots last year, according to a new report suggesting that this demographic is poised to have a big impact in the 2020 presidential race.
About half of all citizens with disabilities voted in the 2018 midterm elections, up 8.5 percentage points from the 40.8 percent who did so during the 2014 midterms.
Those are the findings from a report out this month from Rutgers University analyzing data from the government’s Current Population Survey Voting Supplement.
In 2018, 14.3 million people with disabilities cast ballots, more than the 11.7 million Latino voters that year and nearly as many as the 15.2 million African-American voters.
What’s more, the report found that an additional 10.2 million voters last year were people who live with someone who has a disability. When these voters are added to those with disabilities, that means that 20 percent of all voters in the 2018 midterms came from what the researchers called “disability households.”
Among people with disabilities who did not vote last year, individuals were most likely to cite illness or disability, disinterest, transportation or scheduling conflicts as reasons for not making it to polls.
Researchers behind the report said their findings suggest that people with disabilities could be especially active in next year’s race for the White House.
“Going into the 2020 elections, these results show that the disability community is likely to be very politically engaged,” said Douglas Kruse, a professor at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations who co-authored the report. “How candidates deal, or fail to deal, with disability issues may greatly affect the votes of the millions of people with disabilities and their friends and families.”