Thank you AAPD for providing content for this post
Despite legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) that mandate accessibility of public accommodations and the voting process, many voters with disabilities still encounter barriers to casting a private and independent ballot. Research on Disability, Voter Turnout, and Voting Difficulties in the 2012 Elections from the Research Alliance for Accessible Voting found that almost one-third (30.1%) of voters with disabilities reported difficulty in voting at a polling place in 2012, compared to 8.4% of voters without disabilities.
Requesting Assistance on Election Day
Visit www.866ourvote.org or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) if you have any issues or concerns related to Election Day.
- Call 888-Ve-Y-Vota (888-839-8682) for bilingual English and Spanish assistance
- Call 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) for assistance in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, or Tagalog
- Call #YallaVote (844-418-1682) for bilingual English and Arabic assistance
State Protection & Advocacy Agencies
There is a Protection & Advocacy Agency in every state and territory. Each organization has a Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) project that responds to the unique needs of voters with disabilities in the state/territory.
- The REV UP Campaign lists these hotline phone numbers at the AAPD’s State Resources and Events web page
- You can also go directly to your state protection and advocacy agency website
Voter Support Service
The Arc of the United States offers a Voter Support Service mobile website for people with disabilities to find their polling place and report accessibility barriers.
State Voter Hotlines
Many state Election Offices or Secretary of State Offices operate their own voter assistance hotlines.
Training Videos to Respond to Possible Problems at the Polling Place
These short training videos from the Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) GoVOTER Project outline how voters with disabilities can respond to potential barriers encountered at a polling place.
- Rude poll worker (1min 45sec)
- You’re in the voting booth and you don’t know what to do (1min 32sec)
- You don’t know how to get information (2min 59sec)
- The poll worker says you can’t vote (2min 11sec)
- The poll worker asks for your guardian (1min 35sec)
Importance of Reporting Voting Barriers
It is important to report all barriers to voting experienced, even if you are able to resolve the barrier and cast your ballot. Reporting these barriers to any of the entities listed above allows disability and voting advocates to gather accurate data on the barriers to voting that still exist for people with disabilities. This information is useful when advocating for changes and improvements to the voting process.