In Georgia, you have the right to the following 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, 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 your choice, who can be a friend, family member, or poll worker (but not your boss, union agent or someone who has authority over you at work)
Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities of this office 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.
If you receive assistance, your helper must sign an oath next to your signature.
- 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 candidate’s spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
- If you receive assistance, you will be required to:
- tell a poll worker the name of your assistant, or
- write the name of your assistant on your voter certificate
- A poll worker cannot force you to accept assistance
Contact your election official for information about how voting can be made accessible for you.
Federal law requires polling places to meet minimum compliance standards for individuals with disabilities.
- 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 if you are voting between 9:30am-4:30pm (polls are open from 7am - 7pm)
- 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
An accessible ballot marking device is available at all polling places. This equipment can be used to make choices audibly or by a touchscreen display. It allows for alternatives, including:
- A handheld device, called the Audio Tactile Interface (ATI), can be used by a voter during an Accessible Voting Session to navigate through and make selections on their ballot. The ATI includes:
- Raised buttons of different shapes and colors, large or Braille numbers and letters
- Can be operated with one hand
- Includes a 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Includes a T-Coil coupling
- Has a T4 rating for interference
- Uses light pressure switches
- Can be equipped with a sip and puff device, or a set of paddles
- In Audio Mode, the visual display can be masked, and the voter uses headphones to navigate an audio ballot using one of the available accessibility devices.
If your rights have been violated, please contact the Office of Secretary of State Elections Division by filing out a contact form. Or call (404) 656-2871.
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
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 Georgia Advocacy Office.
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.
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