Democracy Drumbeat: Our July Recap

Democracy Drumbeat: Our July Recap

Author’s Note 

July was Disability Pride Month! This month commemorated the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July 1990.

 The Disability Pride Flag was created by Ann Magill.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has made progress toward securing civil rights for those who are disabled. But amidst this historic progress, a great deal of work remains to build a society where people with disabilities can thrive and participate without restrictions.

From transportation to voting, we have not yet achieved the ADA’s goals until we’ve achieved full access, equity, and inclusion in every aspect of American life. 


Our July Democracy Recap 

Elections Update – Election Day: August 8, 2023 

For many communities in Michigan, elections are coming up. If you have an election in your community, you can visit to: 

  • See if you have an election coming up
  • Check your voter registration
  • Find your polling place
  • Search for your city/township clerk information

Got your registration ready? 

If you still need to register to vote, you must register or update your registration in person at your city or township clerk’s office with proof of residency.

You can do so until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Details on registering to vote and the proof of residency requirement can be found here

Questions about Voting Before Election Day?  

Absentee ballots for in-person absentee voting are available. If you wish to vote before Election Day but have not already requested an absentee ballot, we encourage you to vote in person at your city or township clerk’s office using an absentee ballot. 

You can go to, enter the required information to see your clerk’s hours and location(s), and whether there’s an August election in your community. 

Access to the Ballot 

Everyone deserves equal access to the ballot. You can call your clerk’s office ahead of time to check your polling site accessibility.

Voters can apply for an Accessible Ballot for Voters with Disabilities. This application is for voters with print disabilities who would like an accessible electronic absent voter ballot.

The deadline for submitting this form and having a ballot sent to you by email is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 4.

All voters, including voters with disabilities, have access to a Voter Assist Terminal in all polling places. The Voter Assist Terminal helps the voter mark a ballot. It will mark the ballot with the voter’s choices but does not tally the votes. Once the ballot is marked, it is counted in exactly the same fashion as all other ballots.

You can visit the link here to review resources offered by the Michigan Voter Information Center for accessibility and access to the ballot. 

Know Your Rights 

Everyone should be able to exercise their freedom to vote without fear of intimidation or harassment. That’s why it’s important to know your rights before heading to the polls. 

Visit where you can find voting resources, get answers to common questions, and download the Know Your Rights Guide. 

You can also call the election protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). This number provides voters with information, guidance and assistance, and responds to complaints or obstacles to voting. 

Democracy Legislation Update

On July 18, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Proposal 2 implementation package. 

These bills will ensure that every Michigander has access to secure and accessible elections. 

Stay tuned to the Drumbeat for updates on when each new right will take effect” or something like that.

Partner Highlight: Detroit Disability Power 

Our friends Detroit Disability Power (DDP), a social justice organization in Metro Detroit, are on a mission to build the political power of the disability community. 

In November 2022, PTV partner Detroit Disability Power teamed up with The Carter Center to audit 261 Detroit and Metro Detroit polling locations for accessibility. The audit – the largest of its kind in U.S. history – produced shocking results: Only 16% of evaluated polling locations complied with state and federal accessibility laws.

We recently spoke with Detroit Disability Power Executive Director Dessa Cosma and Voting Access and Election Protection Fellow Kenia Flores about the importance of DDP’s work and what can be done to ensure our democracy works for the disability community. 

Read the full interview here.

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