EDWARDSVILLE - September 11 – 15, 2023 is Disability Voters Rights Week. This week is meant to bring awareness and to celebrate the voter rights of citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “If people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who have the same demographic characteristics, there would be about 2 million more voters.”, according to ‘Disability and Voter Turnout in the 2022 Elections, Supplemental Analysis of Census Voter Turnout Data’, Lisa Schur, Douglas Kruse, and Mason Ameri.

Madison County has recently received a small grant to purchase small ramps and signage for easier accessibility to a polling place. Curbside voting is always available for any disabled or elderly voter who cannot enter a polling place due to the structural features of the building. Curbside voting, however, should be requested by the Monday before Election Day by calling the Madison County Clerk’s Office at 618-692-6290.

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Additionally, the Madison County Clerk’s Office has adopted the Student Ambassador Program, a student-led approach to learning about the importance and fundamentals of voting, and then through a peer-to-peer approach, educate their classmates about the process. The program trains high-school juniors and seniors to register classmates to vote and encourages them to hold non-partisan voter registration drives at their schools. Student Ambassadors are also encouraged to recruit qualifying students as Student Election Judges on Election Day. Benefits of the program include demonstration of leadership skills, county-wide recognition, participation in civic minded activities, and more. Thirteen Madison County High Schools are participating, and the first meeting will be held October 16, 2023 at the County Administration Building. For more information see your high school principal or counselor or call the County Office 618-692-6290.

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