‘We deserve to be heard’: Man on mission to make voting accessible to Americans with disabilities

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Voting during a global pandemic can be scary as it is. But for those with disabilities, it can be even scarier.

Approximately 35 million Americans who are living with disabilities are eligible to vote in this year’s election. Quinn Bradlee, who has learning disabilities, is working to make sure every vote counts.

“This election I’ve never been as confused because everything is so controversial,” Bradlee said.

But that didn’t stop him from getting to the polls this week for early voting in Washington, D.C.

“I just decided to do it the old-fashioned way,” he added.

As someone with a disability, Bradlee learned in previous elections the importance of asking for help.

“He always said ‘Mom, I walk into the polling place and everybody there looks like they know what they’re doing,'” Bradlee’s mother Sally Quinn said.

Only about half of Americans with disabilities voted in 2016. This year, Bradlee is working to change that.

He started the “Our Time Our Vote” campaign with the nonpartisan National Center for Learning Disabilities to make voting more accessible for everyone. He’s interviewed celebrities and politicians on both sides of the aisle to highlight that people with learning disabilities can make their vote count too.

“To give them the confidence, the self-confidence they need, to go out and vote,” he said.

Bradlee noted it’s important to be prepared and not go alone. This year, Bradlee’s wife Fabiola was by his side.

“A second set of eyes,” Fabiola Bradlee said.

Now, with his ballot cast, Bradlee hopes millions more Americans with disabilities get the same feeling he has.

“We deserve to be heard and all of our stories deserve to be heard,” he said.

Federal law mandates that people with disabilities have the right to bring someone with them to the polls.

You can learn more about Bradlee’s initiative on the “Our Time Our Vote” website.

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