Does the Literacy Level of an Adult Affect Their Ability to Vote?
Posted by Jessica Gilmour on November 11, 2019 in categoryFacts & ResearchcategoryAdvocacycategoryMember Tips

Roughly 43 million adults in the U.S. read and write below a third-grade reading level. For those millions of people, voting may be particularly stressful. Low literacy may cause intimidation, confusion, and avoidance of the polls, which might possibly correlate to the traditionally underwhelming voter turnout.

 Is it possible that a large portion of the population not voting in the elections are the adults who have trouble reading the ballots? Imagine having the opportunity to use your voice, but not knowing how to use it. 

 According to U.S. Code § 10508, any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice. Although these plans are implemented to help those who struggle reading the ballot, many low-literate adults find shame in asking for help.  Shame should not be the barrier that blocks one from using their voice to contribute to change. 

 If you or someone you know needs assistance voting, you can ask a poll worker or person of choice to help read the ballot.


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