Florida Resources for Voters with Disabilities

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

You have the right to the following items as protected by federal law. Election staff must be trained on and 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
  • 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 your choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker. The person may not be your employer, or an agency of your employer, or an officer or agency of your union

In Florida, you also have the right to:

  • Vote and have his or her vote accurately counted.
  • Cast a vote if he or she is in line at the official closing of the polls in that county.
  • Ask for and receive assistance in voting.
  • Receive up to two replacement ballots if he or she makes a mistake prior to the ballot being cast.
  • An explanation if his or her registration or identity is in question.
  • If his or her registration or identity is in question, cast a provisional ballot.
  • Written instructions to use when voting, and, upon request, oral instructions in voting from elections officers.
  • Vote free from coercion or intimidation by elections officers or any other person.
  • Vote on a voting system that is in working condition and that will allow votes to be accurately cast.
Who can register to vote?

To register to vote in Florida, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States of America
  • At least 16 years old to preregister or at least 18 years old to register and vote
  • A legal resident of Florida and of the county in which you want to register

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 Florida, you may not register or vote if:

You can register to vote to update your signature.  Your signature on file is used to match and verify your ballot and other documents that you might submit.  

The Voter Registration form is also available in Spanish.

Register to vote now if you are eligible!

What are my rights when registering to vote?

Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities of these offices include:

  • Providing voter registration forms
  • Assisting voters in completing the forms
  • Transmitting completed forms to the appropriate election official

All aspects of voter registration must be accessible 

What are the different ways to vote in Florida?
  • In person on Election Day
    • On Election Day, the polls are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. If you are in line by 7:00 pm, you will be allowed to vote.
       
  • Absentee without excuse (Mail-in Vote Request)
  • Early voting
  • Provisional ballot at a polling place
  • While abroad as a citizen or military through an absentee (mail-in) vote request
  • Certain elections may be held by mail only
What are the ways to request and mail an Absentee Ballot in Florida?

Any Florida registered voter may request a mail-in ballot using the US Vote Ballot Request Form.

You can also contact your local Supervisor of Elections: Find your Supervisor of Elections

  • You may request a vote-by-mail ballot in person, by mail, email, fax or by phone. 
     
  • Requests for vote-by-mail ballots must be received in your local Supervisor of Elections office no later than 5:00 pm on the 10th day before an election
     
  • Only the voter or a designated member of his or her immediate family or legal guardian can request a vote-by-mail ballot for the voter. Immediate family is a spouse, parent, child, grandparent or sibling.
     
  • As a voter requesting a vote-by-mail ballot you must provide your:
    • name
    • address
    • date of birth
    • signature (written requests only)
       
  • If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, that person must provide the voter’s above information as well as the following:
    • Requester's name
    • Requester's address
    • Requester's driver's license number (if available)
    • Requester's relationship to voter
    • Requester's signature (written requests only)

Mailing Your Ballot. Once you have marked your mail-in ballot: 

  • Make sure you sign and date the envelope provided to ensure that your ballot is counted. 
  • Return it by fax or mail to your Supervisor of Elections so that it is received no later than 7:00 pm on Election Day.
  • You may not email it.
How is the Florida mail-in or absentee ballot process made accessible for voters with print disabilities?

You can request a vote-by-mail ballot through an electronic ballot delivery and marking system.

  • You have the option to print the ballot for manual or electronic marking, with or without compatible assistive devices or software. 
     
  • A voted ballot may only be returned in person or by mail. Voted ballots cannot be returned electronically. Contact your County Supervisor of Elections for more information.
What accommodations are available for voters with disabilities at polling locations in Florida?

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

  • The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting in person on Election Day.
     
  • The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires at least one accessible voting system for persons with disabilities at each polling place in federal elections.  The accessible voting system must provide the same opportunity for access and participation, including privacy and independence, that other voters receive. 

If you want to check that your polling location meets these standards or find an alternative polling location, contact your local election official.

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

Also in Florida,

  • All polling places are required to be accessible for voting.
  • At least one accessible voting system is available in each polling place. These meet at least 12 major categories of accessibility.
  • You have the right to vote independently and privately or with assistance if needed.
How can I prepare to use accessible voting equipment in Florida prior to Election Day?
  • Florida's accessible voting machines accommodate at least 12 different types of disabilities. Here is a chart of the voting systems used in all Florida counties.
     
  • For instructions on how to use the accessible voting machines, contact your County Supervisor of Elections
  • Florida has developed a Voting in Florida guide to assist you in preparing to vote. Page 9 has a section entitled, “What is it Like in the Voting Booth.”

  • AccessTheVote’s video tutorials explain the accessible voting equipment, which include captions in English, Spanish, as well as ASL.

What are the rules of assistance for disabled voters in Florida?

If you need assistance to vote due to a disability, you have several options:

  • You can request help at any time during the process. Poll workers are required to help you any time you ask—even after you have entered the voting booth.
     
  • You can receive personal help at the polls during early voting or on Election Day. You do not have to reveal the nature or extent of your disability. 
     
  • You can choose anyone to help you except your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agency of your union. This person will have to fill out a declaration stating they will provide help.
     
  • You can also receive assistance from two members of the Supervisor of Elections staff by either: 
    • Filling out a declaration affirming that you need help, or 
    • Requesting you need assistance at the polls on your voter registration application 
       
  • A poll worker can not coerce you into accepting assistance, and they must maintain your privacy when providing assistance.
Who do I contact if I have problems when voting in Florida?

If you feel your rights have been violated, you may contact one of the following: