September 15, 2023
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) The November NJ Statewide Elections are crucial for people with disabilities. Both the state senate and state assembly are up for grabs.
“There is a lot at stake and our voices need to be heard,” said Carole Tonks, executive director of the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) ACI leads REV UP in New Jersey, which is part of a national movement that promotes the turn out of people with disabilities for elections. REV UP was started by American Association People with Disabilities (AAPD)in 2016, and the name stands for “Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power!”
REV UP’s mission is to build the power of the disability vote. REV UP NJ and ACI hosted an event at the NJ State House to kick off their fall election activities and to celebrate the power of the disability vote. It feature speeches by voting rights advocates, resources tables, and live entertainment. NJ Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin gave the keynote address and said that democracy is strongest when everyone votes. Other speakers reinforced that theme.
“Before we go to public meetings, before we demonstrate, before we conduct sit-ins, and before we get arrested, we need to vote. The rest is meaningless unless we exercise our right to vote,” declared Norman A. Smith, co-founder of Project Freedom Inc.
REV UP NJ is dedicated to remove barriers to voting, promote accessible voting machines and polling places, educate voters about issues and candidates and protect voters’ rights to participate in elections.
Photos below by: Brian McCarthy, Onscene News