Accessible Voting for Persons with Disabilities
Assistance with Voting
If you need help to vote due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write, you have several options for voting.
- You can vote on a touch screen or other accessible marking device at the polls. Voting on a touch screen allows you to vote with minimal or no assistance and in secret. Federal and state law require accessible voting equipment to be in each polling place. Florida has certified accessible voting systems for use by persons with disabilities that meet at least 12 major categories of accessible standards. See section 301(a)(3) of the Help America Vote Act (Public Law 107-252) and section 101.56062, Florida Statutes.
- You can receive personal help to vote at the polls during early voting or on Election Day. You do not have to reveal the nature or extent of your disability. You can choose anyone to help you except your employer or an agency of your employer or an officer or agency of your union. If you have no one to help you at the polls, you can get the help of two members of the Supervisor of Elections staff. See section 101.051, Florida Statutes. If you did not indicate on your voter registration application that you would need help to vote at the polls, you will have to fill out a declaration affirming that you need help. The clerk at the polling place can help you fill out the form. In addition, the person you choose to help you will have to fill out a declaration (unless that person is election staff) saying he or she will provide help. If you have any questions about receiving help in voting, please direct your questions to the clerk or inspector at the polling place.
- You can vote absentee from the comfort of your residence and have someone of your choice, other than your employer, agent of your employer or an officer or agent of your union, mark the choices or assist you in marking your choices on the ballot. See section 101.661, Florida Statutes. If you are in an assisted living facility or a nursing home facility, you can receive an absentee ballot there, or you may participate in supervised voting if made available per section 101.655, Florida Statutes. Contact your Supervisor of Elections for more information about this option.
Polling Place Accessibility
Federal and state laws require all polling places to be accessible for voting. (Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. s. 1973) and section 101.715, Florida Statutes. Counties are eligible to receive grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' VOTE Program to make polling places accessible to the disability community.
To find out about the accessible voting systems used in your county, please refer to this link for certified voting systems in your county. For more information and instructions on how to vote on those accessible systems, please contact your county Supervisor of Elections.
For more information about services for and the rights of persons with disabilities, please refer to the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities at: http://apd.myflorida.com/; the U.S. Department of Justice at: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/drs , and The Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities at: www.disabilityrightsflorida.org.