10 Local Offices on the Ballot That Are Important to the Disability Community

From Center for American Progress: For Entire Post, Go Here…

Voter participation in local elections is often eclipsed by that of federal and presidential elections. However, local politics have a distinct and often outsize effect on the experiences of people with disabilities and others within their communities. These elections play a role in ensuring safety in times of disaster and crisis. For example, many decisions regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic—from mandatory mask requirements to school reopening plans—have been made at the local and state level.

Despite this, turnout for local elections is sparse: Only 27 percent of eligible voters participate in local elections nationwide. This means that relatively few people in each state are voting on positions such as those in state legislatures—which include district senators and representatives, who function similarly to members of Congress at the federal level—as well as governors and mayors. Voters may also overlook lower-level elected officials who work more directly with the community—such as school boards, judges, district attorneys, and city council members—and may be key to making a community more accessible. In addition, there are a number of officials who are not elected directly but are appointed to key positions. That’s why it is important to know which specific local officials these appointees are accountable to, because understanding these connections can help voters make their voices heard.

This column provides a list of 10 offices that are up for election in cities and states across the country—in 2020 and in future elections—and why it is important to know who these elected officials are and how they can affect local communities.

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