February 15th is the Spring Primary in some areas of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin  Disability Vote Coalition urges voters with disabilities to check on MyVote  Wisconsin to determine if they have a primary, and to make a plan to vote. 

Voters who have a primary should also check MyVote Wisconsin for their polling  place as it may have changed, contact their clerk today regarding any  accommodation needs, and bring photo ID to their polling place.  

A high percentage of people with disabilities vote absentee. If you are voting  absentee, your ballot must arrive no later than 8 PM on election day to be counted.  For the February 15th primary, voters may follow the long standing practices of  absentee ballot return. These include returning absentee ballots to a secure drop box  or to your clerk, or requesting that another person of the voter’s choice return their  completed absentee ballot to a drop box, to the clerk’s office, or to the voter’s polling  place. Check with your clerk on where to return your ballot. 

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 [email protected]. The Hotline can help voters check their registration and  polling place; explain options for absentee ballot return, photo ID requirements, and  disability related accommodations; and assist with voting rights concerns. Our Spring  Election Toolkit and other resources are on the Disability Vote Coalition website

Voters with disabilities should know their rights. To ensure that our voting process  is accessible to all, disabled voters have the right to request accommodations,  including the following:

  • Curbside voting should be available at every polling place for voters who have  difficulty entering their polling place due to a disability, due to being  immunocompromised or having symptoms of COVID-19. Two poll workers will  bring a ballot to the voter, and conduct voting at their vehicle, or at the polling  place entrance. Proof of identification is required. If a voter is not registered,  proof of residence must be provided. Voters should contact their clerk today  about 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. 
  • An accessible voting machine should be available at every polling place.  This machine will allow voters to independently 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. 
  • 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 assistors 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.  

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. 

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 recommend reporting the concern to the Wisconsin Elections Commission at elections.wi.gov/form/accessibility-complaint. The DRW Voter Hotline (844-347- 8683) is also available to help voters who have a complaint.  

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