Voters with disabilities have many ways to participate in elections
The Michigan Department of State and Bureau of Elections is marking National Disability Voter Registration Week by continuing to expand access for voters with disabilities.
“Ensuring equal and secure access for all voters is among my highest priorities, and that includes ensuring people with different abilities can safely and securely cast ballots in whatever way they choose this year,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “It is critical differently abled citizens are heard in our democracy and my administration will continue to create accessible and convenient pathways to ensure everyone can vote.”
The bureau recently launched two accessible absent voter ballot applications – one online, one downloadable PDF – for blind voters and others with severe disabilities that would otherwise prevent them from voting absent voter ballots privately and independently. Both are available at Michigan.gov/Vote. Voters who request accessible electronic absent voter ballots for the August 4 election will be emailed an electronic ballot and can mark the ballot on an electronic device, using their own assistive technology, and print and mail or otherwise return the ballot to their local clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
The bureau also recently updated and provided all election clerks with guidance on providing voter assist terminals for voters with disabilities and will soon be releasing a video with instructions for voters and election workers on how to use the terminals.
Additionally, the Bureau provided a checklist to election clerks to review polling place accessibility and will soon provide a slideshow presentation that provides further guidance on the same subject.