Disability Rights North Carolina

Introduction

Problems at the Polls

Problems at the Polls

During each election, we hear about problems at poll sites that keep people with disabilities from being able to vote. We are working closely with the State and Local Boards of Election to make sure that voters with disabilities are able to vote. If you have any of these problems, call our voter hotline to report it: 1-888-WEVOTE-2.

You can also print out this guide to your voting rights or save the link on your phone to take with you when you vote. Read on to learn more about what to do if you have a problem voting.

Problems we get calls about:

    • Voters are being asked to show ID before being allowed to vote. ID is not required unless you are registering to vote. If you are asked for your ID, call our voting hotline at 1-888-WEVOTE-2 and report it.
    • Voters are unable to use the assistive technology when they vote because poll workers do not know how to work the accessible voting machine, they haven’t turned it on and prepared it for use, or because the machine is broken.
    • Voters with disabilities are turned away at the polls because poll workers believe they are being exploited by their support person.
    • Poll workers do not allow a person to vote based on assumptions about their disability. They assume based on the severity of their disability that they do not have the capacity to vote.
    • Poll workers ask people with disabilities to prove they have the capacity to vote, including asking them to demonstrate they can read and write.
    • Voters using curbside voting having to wait a long time to vote or being asked their disability when using curbside.

What to do if you need help voting

If you need help voting because of your disability, tell a poll worker. Poll workers can help you by reading forms to you. They can also help you get accessible materials or show you how to use the accessible voting machine. They are required to help you.

But poll workers cannot ask you what your disability is. They cannot ask you for your ID (unless you are registering to vote). They cannot stop you from getting help to vote. And they can’t tell you that you can’t have a support person. If the poll worker tells you that you cannot vote because of your disability, follow the steps below and report it to our voting hotline at 1-888-WEVOTE-2.  

Some things you can do if you have a problem at the polls

  1. If you have a problem voting in person, ask to speak with the chief judge on site. That person has the authority to grant you whatever accommodation you need.
  2. If the chief judge doesn’t agree to your request contact your County Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections, and Disability Rights North Carolina
  3. Call DRNC’s voter hotline at 1-888-WEVOTE2 to report the problem (we are monitoring voting sites throughout the state).
  4. Vote early! That way, if you run into trouble, you still have time to fix the problem and have your vote count.

 

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