Frequently Asked Questions - #CripTheVote
What is the purpose of #CripTheVote?
#CripTheVote is a nonpartisan campaign to engage both voters and politicians in a productive discussion about disability issues in the United States, with the hope that Disability takes on greater prominence within the American political landscape. We hope to encourage people with disabilities to engage with the election at all levels from President on down, and to vote. We also want to hear candidates engage with disability policy issues and disabled people as much as possible.
What is "CripTheVote" supposed to mean?
Basically, it is a catchy way of referring to the idea of disabled people being active voters and through their collective power, forcing important disability issues into the mainstream.
What can I do if I don’t use Twitter?
You don't need a Twitter account if you want to follow the conversation happening in real-time. At any time, you can check this link: http://twubs.com/CripTheVote. This link will show all the tweets that use the CripTheVote hashtag and you can scroll up and down to read all the comments.
Don’t laugh, but what, exactly, is a “Twitter Chat?” And while we’re at it, what’s a “hashtag?”
Twitter Chat is a public discussion that uses a hashtag as a virtual meeting point on twitter. A hashtag is a way of making tweets more easily searchable. By using the hashtag (in this case #CripTheVote) one can find all of the tweets on a particular subject in one place by either clicking on the hashtag or using twitter’s search function. For an example of what a Twitter chat looks like, check out this example by Ruti Regan. It’s very helpful explaining the elements of a typical Twitter chat: https://storify.com/RutiRegan/examplechat
What does posting Twitter comments with the #CripTheVote hashtag accomplish?
The way Twitter hashtags work, individual participation collects all of our comments and ideas into a noticeable voice with a chance of being noticed outside the already engaged disability activist community. It’s also a convenient way to get us all talking and sharing ideas amongst ourselves. In a more concrete way, it could prompt candidates and political reporters engage publicly with specific disability-related questions. If enough people are using a particular hashtag at a given time twitter will identify it as trending which garners even more attention from both the media and other twitter users.
When should I use the #CripTheVote hashtag?
Include it in Tweets about the 2016 US Elections at any level, if it is also in some way related to disability. That could mean comments about particular candidate or political party platform positions on disability issues, candidates’ rhetoric and behavior towards disabled people, questions disabled voters want to ask candidates, and ideas for encouraging candidates and journalists to engage with disability issues and disabled voters.
May I argue for my favorite candidate under the #CripTheVote hashtag?
Sure! This effort is non-partisan. We aren’t going to endorse a candidate or try to make one look better than the others, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep your own preferences secret. Feel free to make your case. Just remember that we want to keep this these discussions respectful and broadly focused on disability-related issues and voting by disabled people.
Why focus on voting by disabled people?
Americans with disabilities could become a very powerful constituency of voters. But currently, we are hitting below our weight. 15.6 million Americans with disabilities voted in 2012, which is already an impressive number. However, voter registration was 2.3% lower for disabled people than for non-disabled, and our actual voter turnout was 5.7% lower than for non-disabled voters. About 3 million people with disabilities in 2012 were registered to vote but did not vote. That is a lot of untapped political power. (Disability, Voter Turnout, and Voting Difficulties in the 2012 Elections, Rutgers University, 2013).
What’s actually going to happen, and when?
The main activity of #CripTheVote will be Twitter Chats, scheduled in connection with Presidential Debates or on other election-related topics. Click here to check the debate schedule and this page for our latest events. Other events may also be planned as the campaign moves along.
What if I can't keep up with the questions during the Twitter chat?
It's fine to tweet at your own pace. We post our questions in advance in case folks want to prepare. Also, we don't expect folks to have to keep up. Our questions are spaced 4-5 minutes in advance but people can reply at their own leisure. There's no wrong way to participate in a chat. You're welcome to tweet before, during and after the scheduled time. We also suggest you read this guide to using Twitter for discussions and advocacy.
Why do you use the word "Crip"? Isn't that offensive?
We realize the word "Crip" isn't for everyone, but we chose it for several reasons. Read more about that here.
Who can I talk to if I have any questions?