Voting Accessibility and Assistance
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Federal and state law requires Supervisor of Elections offices and polling places to be accessible. Everyone should be able to get into their polling place. The doors should be wide enough for a wheelchair to fit through. There should be ramps or elevators if there are steps up or down. The parking lot and the walkways must be accessible.
Florida law also governs the extent to which you have the right to be assisted by others in the process of registering and voting.
- Assistance Registering
- Assistance at the Polls
- Accessible Voting Technologies
- Reporting Accessibility Issues
Florida law outlines assistance with registration that individuals with disabilities may request and receive.
For example, staff at your local Supervisor of Elections Office may assist by explaining the requirements for correctly filling out a voter registration application.
Florida law also requires that any state agency office or private provider on contract with a state agency providing assistance or services to individuals with disabilities must provide their applicants and clients with an opportunity to register to vote or update their voter registration. These state agencies and private providers are required to assist you with voter registration anytime you apply or reapply for services or assistance or anytime you provide a change of address.
An individual may receive assistance to register from their spouse, parent or child.
Assistance is also available from a number of private individuals and organizations, such as the Florida League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote. Anyone who is not a Supervisor of Elections employee, voter registration agency employee, or a prospective registrant’s spouse, parent or child, must register as a “third-party voter registration organization” before assisting individuals to register to vote.
Assistance at the Polls
Florida law allows you, as a registered voter, to have assistance marking your choices on your ballot or absentee ballot if you need assistance because of blindness, disability or inability to read or write.
You may request assistance from election officials or select someone to assist you. You may choose whoever you want to assist you, except that the person cannot be your employer or an agent of your employer or an officer or agency of your union.
If your voter registration record does not already contain a notation about you needing help, you will have to complete and sign a form. The clerk at the polling place can help you fill out the form.
Unless you choose an elections official, the person you choose to help you also has to fill out a form.
If you have any questions about receiving assistance with voting, please direct your questions to your Supervisor of Elections or the clerk or inspector at the polling place.
Accessible Voting Technologies
Along with polling place accessibility, the way you cast your vote must also be accessible. The Help America Vote Act requires at least one voting machine in every polling place to be accessible to anyone who has a disability.
In Florida, two types of accessible voting machines are used:
- Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems – Voters using this machine will cast their vote through a touchscreen, dial, or mechanical button. The DRE system then stores your votes into the computer’s memory. Some DRE systems are also equipped with a printer for voters to confirm his or her choices before committing them to the computer's memory. The paper records can be saved in case of an audit or recount.
- Ballot Marking Devices and Systems – Most ballot marking devices use a touchscreen for voters to make their selections. Unlike the DRE system, ballot marking systems do not store you votes into a computer. Instead, the ballot is marked on paper and tabulated, like all other paper ballots. These systems also provide other accessibility features such as audio.
Accessible Voting Machine by County - Links open in a new tab or window
|County||Machine Name||Type of Machine|
|Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Lake, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Sumter||iVotronic||DRE – Touchscreen|
|Calhoun, Citrus, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Jefferson, Okeechobee, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton||AccuVote TSX||DRE – Touchscreen|
|Clay, Lafayette, Manatee, Marion, Orange, Pasco, St. Johns, Volusia||ExpressVote||Ballot Marking Device or System|
|Indian River, Palm Beach||AVC Edge||DRE – Touchscreen|
|Alachua, Baker, Hardee, Hernando, Leon, Levy, Madison, Monroe, St. Lucie||ImageCast Evolution||Ballot Marking Device or System|
|Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Nassau, Okaloosa, Osceola, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Suwannee, Union, Washington||AutoMARK||Ballot Marking Device or System|
Unless you vote by mail with an Absentee Ballot, you will need transportation to the polls if you do not drive. Please line this up well in advance with your family, friends or neighbors. In some counties, there might be rides to the polls. Call your Supervisor of Elections to see if they have any information. We receive calls from people on Election Day who end up not being able to vote because they did not start lining up rides before Early Voting or on Election Day. This is the most challenging call we get related to voting and it rarely ends well. If getting rides is often a challenge for you, consider voting by Absentee Ballot.
Reporting Accessibility Issues
If your polling place is not accessible, you have complaints about access to voting, or you believe your rights have been violated, you may file a complaint by contacting any of the following:
Disability Rights Florida
800-342-0823 extension 6000
2473 Care Drive, Suite 200
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Election Protection Hotline
1-866-687-8683 - English
1-888-839-8682 - Spanish
Secretary of State, Division of Elections
R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250