Connecticut Resources for Voters with Disabilities

What are my rights as a voter with a disability in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, you have the right to the following as protected by federal law. Election staff must respect these rights:

  • Accessible voter registration,
  • Accessible polling places,
  • Policies and procedures that do not discriminate against you based on your disability,
  • Accessible, available, and operational voting systems, features,
  • Your service animal to accompany you inside the polling place,
  • The right to vote privately and independently or with assistance, if needed,
  • Assistance from a person of choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker,
  • Election Staff trained to understand the rights above.

In Connecticut, you also have the right to:

  • Independently mark and cast your ballot without interference, coercion, or intimidation,
  • Vote in privacy and cast a secret ballot,
  • Receive assistance when voting,
  • Review a sample ballot before voting,
  • Vote by absentee ballot if you have a disability that prevents you from voting in person on Election Day,
  • File a complaint about voting accessibility or other violation.
Who can register to vote?

To register in Connecticut, you must be

  • A citizen of the United States of America,
  • At least 17 and will be turning 18 on or before Election Day,
  • Have been a resident of the city or county for at least 30 days,
  • Do not claim the right to vote elsewhere,
  • If you are a student, homeless, a survivor of intimate partner violence with related concerns, or living with a mental or physical impairment, you can still register and vote

In Connecticut, you may not register or vote if:

  • Your right to vote was specifically removed by a court order, unless your right has been restored
  • Are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction. You may still register to vote while on parole or probation.  

Register to vote now if you are eligible!

What are the different ways to vote in Connecticut?
  • In person on Election Day
  • Absentee for a particular election: You must apply for each election by completing an absentee ballot request and meeting one of the following criteria to be approved:
    • You have a physical disability or illness that prevents you from voting in person on election day,
    • You are an active member of the US armed forces,
    • You will be out of town during all voting hours on election day,
    • Your religious beliefs prevent you from voting on election day,
    • You are performing duties as an election official at a polling location other than your own.
       
  • Permanent absentee voting with a doctor’s certification if you have a permanent disability. Apply with your town clerk,
  • Emergency Absentee Voting if you are injured or fall ill within six (6) days of the election. Apply with your town clerk,
  • Supervised absentee voting if you reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility or other qualified institution,
  • Provisional ballot: 
    • At the polling place if your name does not appear on the voter registration list,
    • You must sign an affidavit that you are registered and eligible to vote,
    • Offered only if a federal office is on the ballot.
How is the Connecticut mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?

The Connecticut absentee ballot application is compatible with screen readers and has a checkbox for you to indicate that you need an accessible ballot emailed to you.

In addition to English, Connecticut also offers a Spanish Application for Absentee Ballot.

If it is within 6 days of an election, use the Emergency Application Absentee Ballot. Also available is a Spanish Version of the Emergency Absentee Ballot Application.

You may be eligible for a permanent absentee ballot if you have a permanent disability. Contact your local town clerk.

If you have a print disability, you can request an accessible absentee ballot to be emailed to you when filling out your absentee ballot application.
 

What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in Connecticut?

Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with special needs.

If you are unable to stand in line, you can:

  • Request to be moved to the front of the line or refuse to be moved to the front of the line, 
  • Request that a chair be provided or refuse to accept a chair,
  • Request to have your place in line held and notified when it is your turn.

Curbside voting is available if you are temporarily incapacitated. After showing a valid form of ID, Registrars of Voters from both parties will bring you a ballot and a privacy sleeve. You must mark the ballot in front of them, but they must stand in a way that will not violate your right to a private vote.

An accessible ballot marking device is available at all polling places. This can be used to make choices audibly or by a touchscreen display. This allows for the following alternatives:

  • Audio
  • Tactile keys
  • Customizable displays
What are the rules of assistance in Connecticut?

You may request assistance from a poll worker or receive assistance from a person of your choice with the following exceptions:

  • your employer, an agent of your employer,
  • an officer or agent of your union,
  • a candidate on the ballot.

A poll worker can not coerce you into accepting assistance.

How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment in Connecticut prior to Election Day?

You have the right to access a sample ballot and can preview and practice using accessible voting equipment by using the PDF file of the Inspire Marking System Manual.

Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in Connecticut?

You can fill-out and submit a Complaint Form to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission. It should be mailed to:

State Elections Enforcement Commission
55 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT 06105

You can also fill out a Violation of Civil Rights Complaint Form and submit it to the US Department of Justice by one of the following methods:

  • Online, through the form’s submission process - this is the fastest method,
     
  • By fax at (202) 616-9881. You MUST include “ATTN: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints" at the top of your fax submission for it to be processed correctly,
     
  • By mailing your form to: 

                    U.S. Department of Justice
                    Office of the Inspector General
                    Investigations Division
                    ATTN: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Complaints
                    950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
                   Washington, DC 20530
 
For assistance with advocacy, protection of your voting rights, and other services, you may contact the office of Disability Rights Connecticut.

For additional assistance, The National Network of ADA Centers can provide local contact information for other organizations you may wish to contact, including your Regional ADA Center or ADA Knowledge Translation Center, or Federal Agencies and Resources.
 

Additional Resources

Disability Rights Connecticut: Voting Rights Page

Contains additional helpful information, including additional forms in both English and Spanish. Disability Rights Connecticut also provides detailed self-advocacy PDF guides, including: