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WHEREAS, the right to vote is an important civil liberty that contributes to the health of the American political system and the people who participate in it; and
WHEREAS, there are more than 50 million people with disabilities of all ages who live in communities throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, the disability community has a critical interest in policies enacted at local, state, and national levels that affect the integration of people with disabilities, both young and old into our communities; and
WHEREAS, voting is one way for people with disabilities to participate in local, state, and national policymaking; and
WHEREAS, the involvement of the disability community in public policy is essential to ensure that policies meet the needs of people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, there are multiple efforts to develop state disability coalitions around the issue of voting; and
WHEREAS, REV UP America: Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power is a national effort to encourage state and local disability community voting coalitions; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to a comprehensive effort to support Virginians with disabilities – including defending voting rights, ensuring that Virginia is welcoming to all people, maintaining a world class public education system for all students, and building a more diverse economy that creates broad-based prosperity; and
WHEREAS, Virginians can register to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles or their local general registrar’s office, by filling out a paper application and mailing it to their local registration office, or completing an online form on the Department of Elections’ website (vote.elections.virginia.gov); and
WHEREAS, Virginians can learn about voter registration and voting accommodations for people with special needs on the Department of Elections’ website (elections.virginia.gov/registration/voters-with-special-needs); and
WHEREAS, in July 2018, people with disabilities and their supporters will celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
WHEREAS, the American Association of People with Disabilities and members of the disability rights community are organizing a National Disability Voter Registration Week July 16–July 20;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize July 16-20, 2018, as NATIONAL DISABILITY VOTER REGISTRATION WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.