Now that the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is being enforced in New York, there is voting technology at every polling site that enables people with disabilities to vote privately and independently so they are no longer required to use absentee ballots or special polling sites for the disabled. According to government statistics, one out of every 5 people has a disability, and a 20 year old has nearly a one out of three chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.
There are many critical issues facing the disabled. The insurance companies have been preventing the New York State Insurance Department from implementing rules that would prevent insurers from issuing policies that provide them with discretionary authority, which authority they have been abusing routinely. The wait for a hearing for a claimant seeking Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits is typically one to two years. These and many other issues concerning the disabled are not being discussed even though they cut across party lines. As more disabled people vote, hopefully the candidates will begin to recognize that the interests of the disabled are just as significant as any other bloc of voters.