October 8, 2014
With Election Day around the corner, the Vermont Center for Independent Living wants people with disabilities to be mindful that they have options in registering to vote, voting locations and in getting help voting.
“Our communities need people with disabilities to vote! When we have everyone’s voice and everyone’s choice counted, we have more accessible, responsive, strong systems,” said VCIL Civil Rights Manager Kim Brittenham.
If you need accommodations to assist you with voting, you may:
- Contact your town clerk to request accommodations.
- Bring a person of your choice into the voting booth with you for assistance (not your employer or union representative).
- Ask an election official for assistance with marking your ballot.
- Ask an election official to bring a ballot to your car.
- Bring a magnifying glass or other devices to help you use the ballot.
- Bring a list of candidates into the voting booth to help you.
- Ask for another ballot (maximum of three) if you make a mistake.
- Use the ”vote-by-phone” method of voting.
Also of note, the U.S. Department of Justice has published a new technical assistance publication, “The Americans with Disabilities Act & Other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities,” about federal laws that protect the rights of voters with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. VCIL encourages election officials, poll workers and voters to download the publication, which is available in both HTML and PDF formats from ADA.gov.
Voting question, concerns, comments can also be directed to the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office (https://www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/voters/accessibility.aspx), or the Vermont Center for Independent Living (www.vcil.org).
Important dates for voters to know leading up to Election Day:
- Oct. 29 is the last day, until 5 p.m., for voters to apply for addition to the checklist in order to vote in the general election. It is also the last day, until 5 p.m., for people who are not eligible to register by this date but who will be by Election Day to file a written notice of intent to apply with the town clerk.
- Nov. 3, until 5 p.m., is the last day to request early/absentee ballots.
- Nov. 4 is Election Day! All polling places may open no earlier than 5 a.m. and no later than 10 a.m. and must close at 7 p.m.