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Voting News from the Disability Vote Coalition

The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a non-partisan effort to help ensure full participation in the electoral process of voters with disabilities.

Check out our resources at disabilityvote.org/ and follow us on Facebook

April 6th Election: Resources for Voters with Disabilities

The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition urges voters with disabilities to make a plan to safely cast their ballot in the April 6th election. In past elections, some voters with disabilities reported barriers to asserting their right to vote; COVID-19 has created additional difficulties.

Be a Prepared Voter:
Voters should check MyVote Wisconsin for their polling place as it may have changed, contact their clerk today regarding any accommodation needs, bring photo ID, and wear a mask.

Voters who need transportation to vote may be able to find a resource on our Find a Ride to the Polls.

If you are voting absentee, your ballot must arrive no later than 8 PM on election day to be counted. You may deliver your ballot to your clerk or use a secure drop box if available. Check with your clerk on where to return your ballot.
DRW Voter Hotline. The Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter (DRW) Hotline is available to assist voters with a disability at 844-DIS-VOTE/ 844-347-8683 or info@disabilityvote.org. The Hotline can help voters check their registration and polling place, explain accommodations, how to return an absentee ballot, etc. Voters who experience a voting rights concern are encouraged to contact the DRW Voter Hotline.
Know Your Rights Voters with disabilities should know their rights. To ensure that our voting process is accessible to all, voters with disabilities 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; individuals who are immunocompromised or have symptoms of COVID-19 are also eligible to curbside vote. 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 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 voter may not receive assistance from an 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 assisters 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 assisters.
  • 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 that concern so it can be resolved. 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 is available to help voters who have a complaint.
Voter Survey. Voters are encouraged to share their voting experience by taking the April 2021 Voter Experience Survey coordinated by the League of Women Voters. The survey is available in available in both English and Spanish.
Wisconsin Requires Photo ID for Voting
Help is available! Contact these resources:
  • DMV Voter ID Hotline: (844) 588-1069. Apply for a free Photo ID for voting at the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Vote411.org and ballotpedia.org: nonpartisan information about the candidates
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The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a project of Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.
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