Accessible voting machines and voting hotlines

voting-pamphletElections are tomorrow. That means it’s time to let readers know about hotlines available to people with disabilities who run into trouble when they try to vote independently at polling places. I’ve had issues accessing the talking voting machines in previous elections, and it’s comforting to know voting specialists  — and the poll workers – are there to help me resolve these problems. The National Federation of the Blind’s toll-free hotline (877-632-1940) has always been a big help. Other hotlines are ready to help people with disabilities who have problems voting, too:

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section: for complaints related to ballot access, call 800-253-3931, or 202-307-2767. TTY: 877-267-8971
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: for questions about competency of voters/mental Illness issues, call 202-467-5730 ext. 122
  • Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights under Law Election Protection Hotline: For help with disability/access issues, call 866-OURVOTE.

During the last election, my issue with the voting machine couldn’t be resolved, and my husband, who can see, had to sign an affidavit to be able to help me with a written ballot. Voting specialists on the National Federation of the Blind hotline recorded details and referred my issue “to the proper authorities for follow-up action.” My hope is that the follow-up worked, and things go smoothly at the polling places tomorrow — not only for me, but for all of us.


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