Voting FAQs

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Know Your Rights

Answers to Common Voting Questions

Can I vote if I have a disability?

Yes! People with disabilities who are at least 18 years old have the right to vote. Your vote matters and is protected by laws to ensure voting is accessible, independent, and private. In most states, you can vote even if you have a guardian, unless a judge specifically says you cannot vote through a court order. Some election leaders have been saying that people with some disabilities should not be able to vote, but this is not true. A poll worker or election official cannot decide who is able to vote, only your state’s laws can say who can or cannot vote.

Contact your local Protection and Advocacy agency for help understanding or restoring your vote. States also have different laws effecting the voting rights of people who are or have been incarcerated.

What elections are happening this year?

In 2022, states will have primary elections on different dates this year. Primary elections give voters a chance to choose the candidates that will represent their political party later in the general elections. The general elections will be Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Visit your local elections office website or vote411.com for information on your state’s election dates and how to vote.

How do I make sure I’m registered to vote?

To vote, you have to make sure you are registered to vote at your current address. Each state has its own deadline to register, ranging from the day of the election (if you are voting in-person) to 30 days before the election. Find your registration deadline. To vote in your state’s primary elections, make sure to register as soon as possible. 

Have voting laws changed?

Some states have changed their voting laws since the last election. Here are some things that might have changed in your state or county:

  • Types of identification you need to vote 
  • Availability ballot drop-boxes in your area
  • Rules for absentee or vote-by-mail ballots
  • Accessibility of polling locations in your area 
  • Where your polling place is

To find out what your state’s voting laws are, check with your local elections office for the most updated and accurate elections information.

How do I vote from home?

  • Request a mail-in ballot early.  You can request a mail-in ballot at your local board of elections office, mail in an application for a ballot, or apply online. Check with your local election officials for the options in your county. States have different deadlines for mail ballot applications, so make sure to apply early. 
  • Complete your ballot. Absentee ballots are sent by mail as a paper ballot. If you have a print disability and need to use a screen reader or another assistive device, many states can send you a ballot electronically that you can complete on a computer. In most cases you must still print, sign, and return a paper ballot.
  • Sign or mark your ballot. Absentee ballots often require the signature of the voter and sometimes a witness or two as well. Usually voters can mark a ballot rather than signing it as long as someone else signs the ballot and completes a form called an affidavit.
  • Return your ballot early. You can return your ballot early through the mail, a ballot drop box, or your local city or town hall, depending on the options your state and county offers. Some drop boxes are only available during some hours of the day.
  • Track your ballot. Most states allow voters to track their ballots after they have been dropped off or mailed. Vote.org can connect you with this resource in your state.

Can I vote if I’m in a hospital or an assisted living facility?

Yes, you have the right to vote, and many states have ways to make sure people can vote if they are not able to get to a polling place. If you have an unexpected visit or stay in the hospital or in an assisted living facility, you will usually need to fill out an emergency absentee ballot request or a regular absentee or vote by mail ballot request. Some states will allow voters to request a ballot up to a few hours before polling places close on Election Day, while other states require an absentee ballot request before Election Day. Learn more about your state’s rules about emergency absentee ballot requests.

How can I avoid crowds?

  • Vote Early – Voting in person before Election Day helps you avoid crowds and long-lines and also reduces the crowds that will gather to vote on Election Day. Many states offer in person early voting at polling locations with actual voting machines. Some states that don’t allow early voting will allow you to complete an absentee ballot in-person at your local elections office. Find out if and when you can vote early in your state at vote.org
  • Vote from Outside the Polling Place – In many states, if a polling site is physically inaccessible to you, you can request that two polling site workers bring you a ballot to the curbside. This is called “curbside voting” and is often used to vote from a vehicle.
  • Vote By Mail or with an Absentee Ballot – All states allow people with disabilities to vote from home. Some states only allow absentee ballots which requires you to give a reason why you cannot vote in-person, such as a disability. Other states allow all voters to vote by mail.
  • Use a Drop Box When Voting Absentee or By Mail – Many states allow you to return a vote by mail or absentee ballot to a secure drop box. Not all states provide drop boxes, so check with your local elections office.

Can I get help when voting?

Yes! Because of the Voting Rights Act, any voter with a disability or inability to write can choose someone, other than their boss or union agent, to assist them with voting. Some states may require the voters with disabilities to let their local elected officials know they will have someone assisting them before they go and vote in-person.

When receiving help with a vote-by-mail or absentee ballot, some states require the helper to sign a statement on the ballot or envelope to say that they helped the voter. Some states limit who can return a ballot on behalf of a voter, so make sure to check your state’s rules.

What if I cannot vote with a paper ballot?

All polling sites are required to have accessible voting machines. If you are voting by mail, most states allow voters with disabilities to request an electronically delivered accessible ballot that you can receive and mark digitally before printing and returning it like other mail-in ballots. A few states may allow you to return a ballot electronically. Find out where you can vote with an electronic ballot from home.

How can I make sure my vote counts?

  • Vote Early – If you want to vote in-person, check if your state allows early voting. If you vote early and have any issues that keep you from voting, this will give you more time to fix any issues. If you want to vote by mail, request your absentee or mail-in ballot as soon as possible. If possible, request your absentee or mail-in ballot many days before the deadline to request one, fill it out, and return it many days before the deadline to return your ballot.
  • Voter Signatures – States have different ways of verifying voters’ ballots. Some states require forms of identification to vote. Some states require signatures on absentee and vote by mail ballots and then they verify those signatures by comparing them to a previous signature of yours. For voters with disabilities impacting their ability to provide a consistent signature, some states allow alternatives to signatures, such as a mark or stamp, or a signature from someone helping them to vote.
  • Track Your Ballot – Most states allow voters to track their ballots after they have been dropped off or mailed. Vote.org can connect you with this resource in your state.
  • Research the Candidates and Issue On the Ballot – To make sure your vote has the biggest impact it can have, learn about the people and policies you will be able to vote for. Research and learn about these people and policies so that you can make a choice that matches with what you care about.

Where can I find voting information that is accessible to me?

Here are some resources from disability organizations on voting in different formats:

What if I’m having trouble voting?

If you are facing any accessibility barriers when registering or voting, or if you have any questions, you can call your local Protection and Advocacy organization or “P&A.” You can contact your local P&A by visiting the National Disability Rights Network Website and choosing your state. You can also call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

How can I get involved in voting advocacy in the disability community?

Join or start a REV UP disability vote coalition to help get out the disability vote and engage elected officials on the issues important to you. Sign up here and REV UP will contact you.

Where can I find more info about how to vote?

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