As voters head to the polls, many are concerned about various access issues from physical accessibility to voter ID laws. This is a federal election year; additionally, many state legislative seats, state executive offices, local offices and ballot amendments will be voted on. We’ve compiled resources provided by general Election Day voter rights organizations as well as those provided by various disability groups.
See below for apps and information on where to vote, how to vote and who to contact in case there is an issue. Voters with disabilities have every right to vote. If you have a problem voting due to lack of access for disability, contact 866-OUR-VOTE to talk to lawyers on hand to answer Election Day questions and concerns about voting procedures, or other resources listed below, immediately. Please let us know as well by emailing [email protected] Did we miss an important resource? Share with us and we’ll update this guide.
Election Day Assistance
https://www.rockthevote.org/https://www.rockthevote.org/ has several online tools that simplify and demystify voter registration and elections. Follow the links below for more on how to claim your vote!
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission created a tip sheet to help voters with disabilities vote privately and independently.
Easter Seals, AAPD and the REVUP campaign created a checklist for voters with disabilities. Download their voting resource card to take with you to the polls! The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has compiled an extensive voter resource center to help people register to vote, learn about the issues and organized the disability vote. The REV UP campaign, a project of AAPD, aims to increase the political power of the disability community, while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. One Vote Now, a collaborative project between National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, DREDF, AAPD, RespectAbility and the National Disability Rights Network, is working to enhance the voting bloc of people with disabilities.
The Voting Information Project supports a SMS Tool that provides voters with election information via text message. By texting “VOTE” or “VOTO” to GOVOTE (468-683), voters can find polling places, contact information for local election officials, and registration URLs. The app is available in multiple languages.
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, in partnership with several other disability advocacy organizations, published A Guide to the Voting Rights of People with Mental Disabilities. This newly updated guide lists key legal principles, provides information about state laws and practices that limit the voting rights of people with mental disabilities, and offers tools to help people with disabilities preserve or restore their voting rights.
Need help getting to the polls?
In addition to contacting your local candidates’ office, reach out to Carpool Vote, a service connecting volunteer drivers with anybody who needs a ride to claim their vote. Transportation often is a factor for why people with disabilities do not vote and Carpool Vote is aiming to change that.
Offer to drive or request a ride online: http://carpoolvote.com
For help using Carpool Vote, call or SMS: 804-424-5335
In addition, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is partnering with Lyft, a popular ride-hailing app, to help blind voters get to the polls. Lyft has provided NFB’s national headquarters with a number of promotion codes, worth $15 each, which are being distributed through eleven of their affiliates: Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Contact your affiliate president if you could benefit from one of these codes, contact information is here: complete list of our affiliates and their leaders.
What if I go to the polls and they tell me I am not registered to vote?
First, make sure you are at the right polling place. If you are at the wrong polling place, they will not have your name on list of voters. If you are at the correct location and are not on the list, you still can cast a ballot. Ask the poll worker for a provisional ballot. After the polls close on Election Day, the state will check on the status of your voter registration and if there was a mistake made. The state must notify you as to whether your ballot was counted.
On Election Day, if I think my rights have been violated, what should I do?
If you have any questions at the polls, first ask an election official on site for assistance. If they are unable to assist or if you believe they violated your voting rights, then contact the Election Protection Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition working year-round to advance and defend your right to vote. They have lawyers standing by to answer your call:
866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) – English
888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) – Spanish
844-YALLA-US – Arabic
888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) – Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu or Tagalog
301-818-VOTE – American Sign Language
Text “Our Vote” to 97779
The Arc of the United States’ Voter Support Service for people with disabilities is a site that helps voters report and resolve voting barriers in real time.
Call the Voting Rights Alliance command center at 202-536-5400
The Department of Justice, Voting Section at www.justice.gov/crt/contacting-voting-section, 800-253-3931 or 202-514-0716 (TTY)
State Protection and Advocacy Voter Assistance Hotlines
The National Council on Independent Living compiled a directory of Protection and Advocacy voter assistance hotlines that address the voting barriers specifically affecting voters with disabilities, listed by state:
Alabama: Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program – (205) 348-4928
Alaska: Disability Law Center of Alaska – (800) 478-1234
American Samoa: Office of Protection & Advocacy – (684) 633-2441
Arizona: Arizona Center for Disability Law – (602) 274-6287
Arkansas: Disability Rights Arkansas – (800) 482-1174
California: Disability Rights California – (888) 569-7955
Colorado: Disability Law Colorado – (303) 722-0300
Connecticut: Disability Rights Connecticut – (860) 297-4300
Delaware: Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. – (302) 575-0660
District of Columbia: Disability Rights DC – (202) 547-0198
Florida: Disability Rights Florida – (800) 342-0823
Georgia: The Georgia Advocacy Office – (404) 885-1234
Guam: Guam Legal Services – (671) 477-9811
Hawaii: Hawaii Disability Rights Center – (800) 882-1057
Idaho: Disability Rights Idaho – (208) 336-5353
Illinois: Equip for Equality – (800) 537-2632
Indiana: Indiana Disability Rights – (800) 622-4845
Iowa: Disability Rights Iowa – (800) 779-2502
Kansas: Disability Rights Center of Kansas – (877) 776-1541
Kentucky: Kentucky Protection & Advocacy – (800) 372-2988
Louisiana: Advocacy Center – (800) 960-7705
Maine: Disability Rights Maine – (800) 452-1948
Maryland: Disability Rights Maryland – (443) 692-2492
Massachusetts: Disability Law Center, Inc. – (800) 872-9992
Michigan: Michigan Protection & Advocacy Services – (800) 288-5923
Minnesota: Minnesota Disability Law Center – (800) 292-4150
Mississippi: Disability Rights Mississippi – (601) 968-0600
Missouri: Missouri Protection & Advocacy – (573) 893-3333
Montana: Disability Rights Montana – (406) 449-2344
Nebraska: Disability Rights Nebraska – (800) 422-6691
Nevada: Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center – (888) 349-3843
New Hampshire: Disability Rights Center New Hampshire – (800) 834-1721
New Jersey: Disability Rights New Jersey – (609) 292-9742
New Mexico: Disability Rights New Mexico – (800) 432-4682
New York: Disability Rights New York – (800) 993-8982
North Carolina: Disability Rights North Carolina – (877) 235-4210
North Dakota: North Dakota Protection & Advocacy – (701) 328-2950
Ohio: Disability Rights Ohio – (800) 282-9181
Oklahoma: Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. – (800) 880-7755
Oregon: Disability Rights Oregon – (888) 339-VOTE
Pennsylvania: Disability Rights Pennsylvania – (215) 238-8070
Puerto Rico: Office of the Governor/Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities – (787) 725-2333
Rhode Island: Rhode Island Disability Law Center – (401) 831-3150
South Carolina: Protection & Advocacy of South Carolina – (866) 275-7273
South Dakota: Disability Rights South Dakota – (800) 658-4782
Tennessee: Disability Rights Tennessee – (800) 342-1660
Texas: Disability Rights Texas – (888) 796-VOTE
Utah: Disability Law Center – (800) 662-9080
Vermont: Disability Rights Vermont – (800) 834-7890
Virgin Islands: Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands – (340) 772-1200
Virginia: disAbility Law Center of Virginia – (800) 552-3962
Washington: Disability Rights Washington – (800 562-2702
West Virginia: Disability Rights West Virginia – (304) 346-0847
Wisconsin: Disability Rights Wisconsin – (844) DIS-VOTE
Wyoming: Wyoming Protection & Advocacy System – (877) 249-6167