The disability community represents an important and potentially influential voting bloc. But we can only be effective if we participate and and vote! Candidates that support the equality and full inclusion of people with disabilities will benefit from the power of the disability vote.
Dozens of competitive congressional races will be on the ballot for next week’s midterm general election, including the gubernatorial seat. This year’s general election will be a busy one and it may be confusing if you do not know what to expect. Below is some information that can help voters with a disability.
VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES SHOULD BE ACCOMMODATED AT ALL POLLING SITES AND NEED TO BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
• The Ballot Marking Device (BMD) is a voting machine that provides an accessible ballot to voters with all types of disabilities, if they choose to use it. The BMD is also available to voters without disabilities.
• You are entitled to seek assistance from workers at the polling place who have been trained to use the accessible voting machine if you are unfamiliar with it.
• Service animals are allowed in all polling places.
• If you do not want to use the BMD machine and need assistance, you are entitled to bring someone to help you vote (including a friend, family member, caregiver, assisted living provider, or almost anyone else, but not your employer or union representative).
GUIDE TO THE VOTING RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISABILITIES:
WHERE TO CALL IF YOUR RIGHTS AS A VOTER WITH A DISABITY ARE BEING VIOLATED:
• 866 OUR VOTE at www.866ourvote.org or 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)
• 888-Ve-Y-Vota (888-839-8682) for Bilingual English and Spanish assistance
• The Election Assistance Commission, 1-866-747-1471 or BeReady16@eac.gov
• The Department of Justice, Voting Section at www.justice.gov/crt/contacting-voting-section, 800-253-3931, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Your state Protection & Advocacy Agency – a list of state agencies can be found on the National Disability Rights Network website.