2020 Annual Report - Voting

2020 Annual Report - Voting

2020 Advocacy Victories

Empowering Voters with Disabilities - The 2020 Election and the COVID-19 Crisis

drc worked with state and local officials leading up to the election to ensure accessible voting and addressed new barriers resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic made it especially important for the disability community to understand their voting rights and have accessible ways to voice their opinions and concerns.

drc Advocacy Included:


Accessibility & Advocacy

  • Ensured voting was accessible to everyone.
  • Joined a workgroup convened by the California Secretary of State to make recommendations for the November election. drc recommendations addressed: increasing the number of accessible voting systems at voting locations, requirements for the amount of in-person voting locations per county, accessibility and the impact related to the pandemic on voters with disabilities.
  • Supported Governor Newsom’s Executive Order, issued June 3rd, that requires a minimum number of in-person voting options and ballot drop-off locations to registered voters in the weeks and days leading up to the November election.
  • Tracked, reviewed, and responded to amended election administration plans (EAPs) that detailed upcoming changes to the election due to the pandemic. We also provided comments for changes/additions emphasizing curbside voting, vote center and ballot drop-off locations' accessibility, and ensuring accessible election websites. 

Outreach & Training

  • Created materials in multiple languages and provided webinars/trainings in the various languages and American Sign Language (ASL).
  • Provided poll worker training in various counties.
  • Stayed up to date as information changed related to voting, mail in ballots, and in person voting locations due to the pandemic.
  • Developed a standardized, accessible, and customizable online poll monitoring questionnaire that various counties and California voting rights groups statewide can use. This new approach makes it comprehensive while focusing on language accessibility issues and services to voters with disabilities.
  • Partnered with California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and the Sacramento County Registrar to lead trainings for advocates. Topics included: disability advocacy and participation in the election, voter accessibility requirements in California, the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA), and voting using an emergency medical ballot.
  • Leading up to the election and on election day, hosted a voting hotline for individuals to call in with questions.


  • Educated and motivated people on voter registration, accessible voting options including in-person voting, curbside voting, vote-by-mail and emergency medical ballot, deadlines, signature requirements, and signature mismatch/verification processes. Media Coverage included “Resources for Voters with Disabilities on Election Day.
  • Joined the national campaign National Voter Registration Day, a single day of coordinated media and events to raise awareness of voter registration opportunities.

What voting for the 1st time means to me.


Looking Forward

drc will continue to provide leadership and advocacy to improve, prepare and ensure all voters with disabilities can fully participate in future elections.  We will also continue to partner with other organizations to educate the disability communities regarding voting and submit comments to counties whenever county elections changes may impact voters with disabilities.