Other Voting Topics
Previous Topic: Voting Accessibility and Assistance
Loss of Rights
There are only two ways you can lose your right to vote under Florida law:
- The first way is if a judge finds that under Florida's guardianship laws, you are mentally incapacitated with regard to voting.
- The second way is if a court has convicted you of a felony and suspended your civil rights.
Only a court can take away your right to vote.
No one else - not a guardian advocate, not an election official, not a caregiver, not a family member or anyone else, has the legal authority to prevent you from voting.
If you need assistance protecting your right to vote, you may contact Disability Rights Florida.
A judge can take away your right to vote if the judge finds that you are mentally incapacitated with respect to voting. If you have been found to be incapacitated but believe your rights, including your right to vote, should be restored, contact Disability Rights Florida to request assistance.
Felony Criminal Conviction
In Florida, a person who has been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have been suspended, may not vote unless the right to vote has been restored. Help is available to people, including people with disabilities, to pursue the restoration of their rights through the Florida Parole Commission Office of Executive Clemency.
Visit the Links tab to access the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Florida Parole Commission Office of Executive Clemency websites for more information.
If you are a candidate or support a campaign, please read on to learn how to increase meaningful participation by improving accessibility.
We suggest that candidates and campaigns follow these guidelines:
- Hold events and establish campaign offices in ADA-compliant accessible facilities.
- Have sign language interpreters available for all events.
- Use closed captioning and descriptive audio in campaign commercials/videos.
- Have campaign materials available in alternative formats that are accessible to persons with disabilities (such as Braille, large type, on computer disk and online).
- Make campaign websites fully accessible to people with disabilities.
- Encourage campaign workers and staff to be sensitive to people with disabilities - their votes count just as much as everyone else’s. Make sensitivity training or materials available to campaign workers and staff.
- Recruit and encourage people with disabilities to join and become active in the campaign.
- Encourage private groups supporting the campaign to adopt these guidelines.
Visit these websites for more information and resources:
- Florida Statute Chapter 97.041 - Qualifications to register to vote
- Florida Statute Chapter 101.051 - Electors seeking assistance in casting ballots
- Florida Statute Chapter 101.56075 - Voting methods
- Florida Statute Chapter 101.655 - Supervised voting by absent electors in certain facilities
- Florida Statute Chapter 101.657 - Early voting
- Florida Statute Chapter 101.661 - Voting absentee ballots
- Florida Statute Chapter 744.3215 - Rights of persons determined incapactitated
- Florida Statute Chapter 944.292 - Suspension of Civil Rights
- U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Voting website
- U.S. Department of Justice Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) website
- U.S. Department of Justice ADA Checklist for Polling Places document
- Florida Division of Elections website
- The 2016 Florida Voter Registration and Voting Guide from the Florida Division of Elections website.
- Election Laws - including sections awating preclearance - from the Florida Division of Elections website.
- Dates to Remember - from the Florida Division of Elections website
- Florida Parole Commission Office of Executive Clemency website
Publications and other resources:
- League of Women Voters of Florida website The Florida Voter
- League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund website BeReadyToVote
- Election Protection website
- Voting in Florida - A Guide for Citizens with Disabilities booklet was published by Disability Rights Florida and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. You may print it from this link or from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s publication page. You may also order copies online at the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s publication page. Scroll down to “Voting in Florida - A Guide for Citizens with Disabilities,” then click “Order Online.” The guides will be shipped to you at no charge.
- Your Vote, Your Voice, Your Choice! PowerPoint Presentation (in PDF format)
- Make an Impact: Register and Vote! flyer
- Open Your Campaign flyer