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Voting steps for people with disabilities

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Election Day is just around the corner. Come November 6, millions of Americans will flock to the poll to cast their vote for the next President of the United Stated and  public officials.

However, for people with disabilities this process can be intimidating and difficult if they aren’t aware of the proper steps to take. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires every polling place to be accessible to people who are elderly or people with disabilities:

They must have:

  1. Accessible parking spaces with proper signs.
  2. Accessible routes from the parking lot to the building.
  3. Accessible doors and routes inside the building to the voting machines.
  4. At least one accessible voting machine should be at each polling location.
  5. Service animals are allowed to into the polling place for assistance.

If you choose to vote at the polls in person you will need to bring your driver’s license or state issued identification (the state of Indiana requires a photo identification for all voters.) All voters are ensured privacy during their voting.

If needed, assistance can be given to those with disabilities. You are allowed to bring a designated person to the polls with you. All you have to do is inform a poll worker and they will then have the person offering you assistance fill out the ‘assisted voter form.’ It is illegal for the person who is assisting you to reveal any of your voting information. It should remain completely confidential.

If you do not have a designated person to assist you, two selected pollworkers of opposite political parties will be at your aid. The only stipulations are that the person offering you assistance cannot be a candidate, a past or present employer, or a union representative.

In certain counties people with disabilities have the option of voting from their cars. If the polling location is not completely accessible, this service may be provided. Poll workers of different political parties (similar to the designated assistance voting requirements) will bring out the ballots directly to the car. To see if your county qualifies, call your County Clerk’s office for additional information.

If your voting location isn’t accessible on voting day, Please call, 1 (866) SOS-VOTE (866-767-8683) and ask for ‘elections.’ They will be able to assist you properly.

Absentee Ballot Voting

If you are unable to attend a voting poll, there are other options such as absentee ballot voting. However, there are rules and regulations regarding submitting an absentee ballot. One of the rules to be able to participate in the absentee ballot process is that you’re required to have a disability that would make it hard for you to vote at the polls.

You may vote by absentee ballot either through the mail or in person. Beginning 29 days prior to Election Day, November 6th 2012, all eligible Indiana voting citizens can vote at the county election board office-also known as Satellite Voting Offices. The voter’s absentee ballot will be set aside and then counted on Election Day.

For more information regarding voting rules for your Indiana county election office go to www.IndianaVoters.com. If you’re voting absentee ballot by mail, complete the Application for Absentee Ballot (ABS-1) and mail it your local county election office at the outlined address on the second page of ABS-1 at least eight days prior to Election Day on November 6, 2012.



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