Tuesday, August 9, is Election Day in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition urges voters with disabilities to cast a ballot and participate in our democracy. The Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter (DRW) Hotline is available to answer your voting questions. Call the Hotline at 844-DIS-VOTE/ 844-347-8683 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are voting absentee, and have not yet returned your ballot, check with your clerk about dropping it off at your polling place or central count facility on Election Day. All absentee ballots must arrive by 8 PM on August 9. If you need help returning your ballot because you have a disability, your rights are protected by federal law. You may request a disability related accommodation to have someone else deliver your completed ballot. Disability Rights Wisconsin has provided a suggested process for requesting an accommodation.
• Process for Requesting an Accommodation for Ballot Return Assistance – DRW
Voting on Election Day
If you are voting on Election Day, make sure you are prepared:
• Check your polling place on MyVote Wisconsin as it may have changed.
• Check MyVote Wisconsin to see if you are registered to vote and if your address is current. If you not registered or your address has changed, you may register at your polling place. Bring a Proof of Residence document with your name and current address, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or letter from a government agency.
• Bring your photo ID. The most common forms are a drivers license or State ID for voting. Don’t have an ID? You can vote a provisional ballot, then get an ID. Here’s the process: http://elections.wi.gov/clerks/provisional-ballots
Know Your Rights
Voters with disabilities should know their rights. A voter with a disability cannot be turned away from the polls because a poll worker thinks they are not ‘qualified’ to vote. Disability or medical diagnosis does not take away the right to vote. Only the courts can take away that right. To ensure that our voting process is accessible to all, disabled voters have the right to request accommodations. These are some of the most widely used accommodations:
• Curbside voting is required by state statute for any voter who cannot enter the polling place due to disability. We encourage voters to contact their clerk in advance to ask how to access curbside voting.
• If a voter needs help marking the ballot, they may have a person of their choice assist them. That person does not need to be qualified to vote. The voter may bring someone with them or request assistance from a poll worker. The assistor cannot be the voter’s employer or union representative.
• If a voter inside the polling location cannot sign the poll list due to a physical disability, they should inform a poll worker. The poll worker will write “Exempt by order of inspectors” in the signature space on the poll list.
• All polling places must have accessible voting equipment set up and turned on. This machine allows voters to independently and privately mark the ballot. They should be set up to allow voters who use a wheelchair to reach the controls, and have an audio ballot-marking option for voters with a visual disability. Any voter may use this equipment.
• The poll worker may ask voters to speak their name and address. If a voter is unable to state their name and address, Wisconsin law allows voters to have poll workers or assistor of their choosing state their name and address on their behalf prior to receiving a ballot. Voters can also provide their information in writing to poll workers or assistors.
• Other reasonable accommodations can be requested. Speak to the chief inspector at your polling place. Reporting Concerns. If a voter experiences an accessibility or voting rights concern, it is important to report it. Concerns should be reported to the Chief Election Inspector at the polling place or to the Municipal Clerk. We also strongly recommend reporting the concern to the Wisconsin Elections Commission at https://elections.wi.gov/form/report-an-accessibility- concern or (608) 261-2028. The DRW Voter Hotline (844-347-8683) is also available to help voters who have a complaint.
Wisconsin Elections Commission Resources
• Accessibility Reminders for August 9, 2022 Partisan Primary
• Absentee Ballot Return Considerations for Wisconsin Clerks and Municipal Attorneys |
Wisconsin Elections Commission