Episode 59 Resources: Voting Rights and Accessible Polling Places

Updated: October 2018

Table of Contents

Accessible Voting and Polling Places
Voting Rights Laws
Reports and Research on Voting System Accessibility
Best Practices for Voting Accessibility
EAC Publications on Accessible Voting
Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Accessible Voting and Polling Places

  • ADA Checklist for Polling Places
    A checklist developed by the U.S. Department of Justice to evaluate polling place accessibility. It includes a survey to guide election officials in evaluating the accessibility of facilities used or considered for use as polling places. Available: PDF, 15 pages | HTML
    Source: U.S. Department of Justice
    Link: ada.gov/votingchecklist.htm
    Link: ada.gov/votingck.htm
  • Solutions for Five Common ADA Access Problems at Polling Places
    Examines physical barriers to access in five commonly found areas at polling places: parking, sidewalks and walkways, building entrances, interior hallways, and the voting area itself. It will help election officials meet their ADA obligation to provide polling places that are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Available: PDF, 7 pages | HTML
    Source: U.S. Department of Justice
    Link: www.ada.gov/ada_voting/voting_solutions_ta/polling_place_solutions.htm
  • USAGov’s Guide for First Time Voters
    Learn about your rights and options when it's time to cast your vote. This step-by-step guide offers helpful suggestions including calling your local elections office in advance to find out what accessible accommodations are available at your polling place.
    Source: USAGov
    Link: www.usa.gov/features/usagovs-guide-for-first-time-voters
  • Access to Voting Pocket Guide
    This guide depicts the most common American Sign Language "signs" used in a voting environment. It also provides tips to communicate effectively with voters, including disability etiquette tips and a polling place "quick look" accessibility checklist. Available to order from Meeting the Challenge, Inc. and the Rocky Mountain ADA Center at $.50 per copy
    Source: Rocky Mountain ADA Center
    Link: www.shoprockymountainada.org/Access-to-Voting-DOC35.htm
  • Accessible Voting Places Webcourse
    This course provides an overview of many of the laws covering accessible voting, common barriers to voting, and physical requirements for accessible voting places. The training also offers effective solutions that can be used to make polling places accessible on voting day. Election officials and voters alike will benefit from an understanding of this information.
    Source: Rocky Mountain ADA Center
    Link: rockymountainada.talentlms.com/catalog/info/id:133
  • ADA Now: Accessible Voting
    Published by the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program (ACTCP), a joint program of the Great Plains ADA Center and the University of Missouri. Topics include: Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities; Providing Accessible Polling Places; What Polling Staff Should Know; Statistics on Voters with Disabilities; and Resources.
    Source: Great Plains ADA Center and the University of Missouri
    Link: www.gpadacenter.org/ada-now-accessible-voting-screen-reader-friendly-version
  • REV UP! Voting Toolkit & Resources
    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) REV UP! Toolkit can help you organize the disability vote in your community. The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power! Join the conversation on Twitter using #REVUP, #VoteDisability, and #CripTheVote.
    Source: American Association of People with Disabilities
    Link: www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/
  • REV UP! 2018 Campaign Issues Guide (PDF, 32 pages)
    This Guide is an overview of the issues, legislation, and regulations that have a significant impact on the disability community. The Guide serves as a tool for voters, advocates, candidates, and the media to be better informed on the issues that matter to people with disabilities. Spanish version available soon.
    Source: American Association of People with Disabilities
    Link: aapd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-REV-UP-Issues-Guide-Print.pdf
  • AAPD Voter Resource Center
    Visit the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) webpage of voting resources to help you register to vote, learn about the issues, and organize the disability vote in your community.
    Source: American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Disability Guide to Voting – Georgia
    A guide on voting for people with disabilities, including the deadlines to pay attention to this election season (Summer 2018).
    Source: Georgia Secretary of State
    Link: gcdd.org/public-policy/legislative-priorities/disability-guide-to-voting.html
  • South Carolina Voting Rights Videos & Other Resources
    Three captioned videos about voting rights and accessibility: Registering to Vote, Ways to Vote and Voting Accessibility in South Carolina. This webpage also includes voting tips, a resource manual, fact sheet and other resources.
    Source: South Carolina Disability Voting Coalition and South Carolina Protection & Advocacy
    Link: www.pandasc.org/resources/voting
  • AccessTheVote.org
    The focus of this website is on educating voters about their rights and to offer voting resources for Floridians with disabilities.
    Source: Disability Rights Florida
    Link: accessthevote.org
  • Disability Rights Tennessee Voting Resources
    Useful publications, videos, online voter registration, and more.
    Source: Disability Rights Tennessee
    Link: www.disabilityrightstn.org/resources/voting
  • Helping Tennessee Vote: A Poll Workers Guide to Assisting Tennessee Voters with Disabilities (PDF, 32 pages)
    A guide to educate election officials.
    Source: Produced by Disability Rights Tennessee
    Link: www.disabilityrightstn.org/documents/helping-tn-vote-drtn-2015-web.pdf
  • Video: Accessible Elections for Tennessee Voters
    Developed in 2015, this video (captioned, 8:38 min.) demonstrates an accessible polling place and voting process for voters with all types of disabilities. It is a useful resource for election officials, poll workers, and the disability community.
    Source: Tennessee Secretary of State and Disability Rights Tennessee
    Link: www.tndisability.org/article/accessible-elections-tennessee-voters
  • ADA Live! (WADA) Monthly Podcasts
    Link: adalive.org
    This free monthly national broadcast on the Internet by the Southeast ADA Center examines issues dealing with the legal rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each episode airs from 1:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. (Eastern) on the first Wednesday of each month. All episodes are archived and include a list of useful resources and a transcript. No registration is required. You can submit questions, explore resources and access the archived shows.

Voting Rights Laws

Reports and Research on Voting System Accessibility

Best Practices for Voting Accessibility

“A best practice is a technique or method that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result.”
(Source: http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid92_gci498678,00.html)

  • Election Protection Coalition
    Administered by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, this coalition hosts a hotline where voters can call to report problems when voting and receive advice on what to do. The hotline (1-866-OURVOTE or 1-866-687-8683) is an immediate, on-the-spot resource staffed by lawyers, law students and other volunteers trained to resolve voting problems.
    Link: www.866ourvote.org
  • NCIL Voting Rights Task Force
    The mission of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Voting Rights Task Force is to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the electoral process to maximize our ability to affect federal, state, and local political priorities. These priorities include: (1) registering and educating all consumers, staff, family and allies to vote; (2) contacting political candidates to determine their positions on various disability issues; and (3) encouraging people with disabilities to become candidates for public office at all levels of government.
    Source: National Council on Independent Living
    Link: www.ncil.org/votingrights/

EAC Publications on Accessible Voting

  • U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    This independent, bipartisan commission develops guidance to meet Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requirements.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov
  • Serving Voters in Long Term Care Facilities (PDF, 15 pages)
    Highlights and summarizes the information in the EAC Election Management Guidelines.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/assets/1/6/Quick%20Start-Serving%20Voters%20in%20Long-Term%20Care%20Facilities.pdf
  • 6 Tips for Making Voting Accessible
    These tips can help make voting accessible to everyone.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/documents/2015/12/07/6-tips-for-making-voting-accessible-accessibility/
  • Quick Start Management Guide: Accessibility (PDF, 15 pages)
    Guide for election officials.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
  • Voting Accessibility Resources
    Resources for election officials.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/election-officials/voting-accessibility/
  • Resources for Voters with Disabilities
    Useful information for voters with disabilities.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/voters/resources-for-voters-with-disabilities
  • Accessible Voting Resources
    Fact sheets and voter information for persons with disabilities and for people who speak languages other than English.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/voters/voting-accessibility/
  • Election Management Guidelines
    Helps state and local election officials effectively manage and administer elections. These guidelines complement the technical standards for the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines for voting equipment. Chapter 19 focuses on Accessibility for persons with disabilities.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/election-officials/election-management-guidelines/
  • 10 Tips for Voters with Disabilities (PDF, 2 pages)
    Learn about the voting process, including how to vote privately and independently.
    Source: U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
    Link: www.eac.gov/assets/1/28/508[1]_14Disabilities.pdf

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

  • Presenter: Bobbie Holsclaw, Jefferson County Kentucky County Court Clerk & Board of Elections, Chairperson
    Email: Elections@JeffersonCountyClerk.org
    Website: http://www.elections.jeffersoncountyclerk.org
  • Kentucky State Board of Elections FAQs
    Find out how to register and where to vote in Kentucky, whether in person or by absentee ballot.
    Source: Kentucky State Board of Elections
    Link: elect.ky.gov/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Pages/default.aspx
  • Kentucky HAVA Resources
    Information on state voting systems (i.e., voting equipment or machines by type and county); motor voter registration data by year; state election laws, voter registration, and more. Links to the Kentucky State Plans for HAVA (2003 and 2006, amended) are also available.
    Source: Kentucky State Board of Elections
    Link: elect.ky.gov/Resources/Pages/Help-America-Vote-Act-(HAVA).aspx
  • Video: Accessibility Training for Precinct Election Officers (YouTube, captioned, 10 min.)
    Produced in 2013 by Kentucky State Board of Elections and Kentucky Protection and Advocacy.
    Source: Kentucky State Board of Elections
    Link: youtu.be/LJxGGVAbnk8
  • Kentucky Polling Place Accessibility Surveys
    Use the drop down menu to view ADA survey reports (posted in PDF format) by county and local precinct. Many surveys were done before the 2010 ADA Standards became effective.
    Source: Kentucky State Board of Elections
    Link: vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ada/
  • Election Systems & Software
    Provides election equipment, software and services that are used by U.S. municipalities and counties to help run fair and accurate elections.
    Link: www.essvote.com/
  • Inclusion Solutions
    This company website offers products for voting and business accessibility.
    Link: www.inclusionsolutions.com
  • Ballot Call Alert System
    Available from Inclusion Solutions, Ballot Call is a simple communication tool that allows voters with disabilities to request assistance with polling place entry or curbside voting. Based on a wireless alert system, the device improves access to any polling facility.
    Source: Inclusion Solutions
    Link: www.inclusionsolutions.com/election-voting-booths-supplies/ballotcall-alert-system


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPAD0005-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

The information, materials, and/or technical assistance provided by the Southeast ADA Center are intended solely as informal guidance and are neither a determination of your legal rights or responsibilities under the ADA, nor binding on any agency with enforcement responsibility under the ADA. The Southeast ADA Center does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Furthermore, in order to effectively provide technical assistance to all individuals and entities covered by the ADA, NIDILRR requires the Southeast ADA Center to assure confidentiality of communications between those covered and the Center. Any links to non-Southeast ADA Center information are provided as a courtesy, and are neither intended to, nor do they constitute, an endorsement of the linked materials.

You should be aware that NIDILRR is not responsible for enforcement of the ADA. For more information or assistance, please contact the Southeast ADA Center via its web site at adasoutheast.org or by calling 1-800-949-4232 or 404-541-9001.

Contact For More Information or Assistance:

Southeast ADA Center
Email: ADAsoutheast@syr.edu
Phone: 404-541-9001