Don Reed
3 min readJan 11, 2024



By Don C. Reed

Remember that song from the classic musical, “PAJAMA GAME”?

“Seven and a half cents doesn’t buy a hell of a lot. Seven and a half cents doesn’t mean a thing; but give it to me every hour, forty hours every week, and that’s enough for me to be living like a king!” ( 1)

Voters with a disability are weak if we act alone, but irresistible if we combine our strength.

During the pandemic, a lot of people did not want to leave their homes to vote. So, the mail-in vote procedure was expanded. That made it easier to vote — especially for the disability community. We voted in larger numbers than ever before, which generally meant good news for Democrats.

Democrats support government assistance programs. Republicans are generally against such programs, because they cost money.

In 2020 and 2022, Democrats won more than usual — and Republicans lost.

They hated this, of course, and put new restrictions into place.

Last year alone, 2023, 19 states passed laws making it more difficult to vote. (2)

Did these new laws matter? “In Texas’ March primary, election officials rejected one out of every eight mail-in ballots…. That rate — 12.4% — vastly exceeded Texas’ usual mail ballot rejection rate (less than 1 %) … Officials blamed most of the increase on the new law…”. (3)

Even so, if we know our strength and use it, we can vote with positive results.

How? We are many. Voters with a disability are roughly one in 5 Americans! (4)

Nowadays, many elections are won or lost in the “swing states’: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin.

Barring an electoral shockwave, most other states are “locked in”.

So now here we come, in substantial numbers, eager to vote. We offer stability for the present, and hope for the future. We can be that electoral shockwave.

Remember “Seven and half cents”?

California alone has seven and a half million (7,623,839) adults with a disability. Can we mobilize ourselves, and navigate any changes in the way we register and vote? Does our state allow curbside voting, and/or the mail-in ballot? Here is an important phone number.

Call 1–866-ourvote. They will ask you what state you want, and transfer you to a real-life person. It will be easy.

He or she will answer any questions you may have, and direct you to any place you need to go. It is a reliable source. What you do with it is up to you. (5)

As Davy Crockett once said: “Be sure you are right, then go ahead.” (6)

“Vote as if your life depended on it, because it does” — Justin Dart, paralyzed inventor of curb cuts. (7)

Or as my paralyzed son Roman Reed puts it: “Of course, we are going to vote — it is our right, and our responsibility!” (8)








8. Roman Reed, personal communication



Don Reed

For 23 years, Don C. Reed has supported medical research, ever since his son Roman Reed was paralyzed in a college football accident.