You can ask for help at the polls per the ADA

It is legal to send helpers to the polls, as long as you are not forced to vote. You can also request an accessible machine or support from a poll worker.

The United States is just a few days away from the midterm elections, which will be held on November 8. Midterm elections are federal elections held every two years between presidential elections. .

At VERIFY, our mission is to prevent the spread of misinformation, including answering common questions surrounding the voting process. A viewer PROVEN with a broken leg recently asked about options for support at the polls.

This report is part of a series of stories ahead of the midterm elections. If you have any questions about the election, email us at question@verifythis.com or message us on social media @verifythis.

More words VERIFY: 5 quick facts about the midterm elections

QUESTION

If you need support, can someone else help you vote?

SOURCES

ANSWER

This is the truth.

Yes, anyone in need of assistance can get help voting in any election. Many federal laws protect this right.

WHAT WE FIND

In any election, anyone who needs assistance in voting has the right to request assistance, including requesting accessible voting materials or bringing helpers to the polls.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, or other protected identities. The VRA gives every voter the right to bring someone of their choice into the polls if they need help voting – this person can be one or more pollsters or someone the voter knows. This helper cannot be the voter’s employer, or affiliated with the voter’s employer.

According to Disability Rights Washington, some of the ways an facilitator can assist include confirming that the voter is registered, that the appropriate machine is in use or being requested, and requesting a replacement ballot (ie. is a ballot consisting of large print or Braille). also mark a ballot on behalf of the voter if required.

Poll workers help voters understand the voting process and can also help show someone how to use a voting machine. If someone needs curbside assistance, meaning they can’t get into the polling place, poll workers will bring the voter a poll booklet to sign, a ballot, and any other voting materials necessary to vote privately and independently, according to the Elections Support Commission.

What someone can’t do is sign your name on the ballot for you. Under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities California (DRC), if you are unable to sign your name, you may mark or use a signature seal. Your helper can then write your name next to the signature, and should then write their own name somewhere near the signature line.

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Congress has passed a number of other laws including more special protections for elderly and disabled voters.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local governments to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal and full opportunity to vote, and that accessibility tools or devices are available to help people with disabilities. someone vote.

The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Disabled Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires people with disabilities and other mobility issues to have access to polling places for federal elections. state. If an accessible location is not available, voters must be provided with an alternative means of voting on Election Day.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) mandates that elected officials provide at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling station in federal elections. That person must still be able to vote privately and independently on this machine. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this is usually a machine that can read your ballot and allow you to vote by pressing buttons.

In addition, “voters with mental disabilities cannot turn away from the polls because the pollster considers them “unqualified” to vote,” according to the ACLU.

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Here is a list of things to do at the polling place if you need help. These also apply to people who may not speak English:

  • You can bring a family member, friend or another person of your choice to support you at the polls.
  • If you bring someone to assist you, let the poll worker know that when you check in. The person may have to take an oath or sign a waiver acknowledging they are helping.
  • Tell election officials what you need mentally or physically at the polling place, such as if you need a chair or any other assistance.
  • If you are unable to enter your polling place because you cannot fully access the road leading to the polling place, ask the poll worker for curbside assistance.
  • If you have difficulty using the materials provided for ballot selection, consideration or voting, let the poll worker know.

You can call a group of nonpartisan volunteers at the Voting Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE to report any problems you may have at the polling place. Non-English Hotline:

  • Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA / 1-888-839-8682
  • Arabic: 1-844-YALLA-US / 1-844-925-5287
  • English: 1-866-OUR-VOTE / 1-866-687-8683.
  • Bengali, Cantonese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese): 1-888-API-VOTE / 1-888-274-8683.

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Edmund DeMarche

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