In Maine, 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 (but not your boss, union agent, or a candidate unless this person is your family member)
- Election Staff trained to understand the rights above
In Maine, 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.
Federal law requires assistance in registering to vote from offices that provide public assistance or state-funded programs serving people with disabilities. Responsibilities 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
- 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 cannot force you to accept assistance
- Guardians may not interfere with their ward's access to voting
An accessible PDF electronic ballot option is available for any Maine voter who has a print disability and would like to vote independently from home.
- Go to the online absentee ballot request page and choose the “Accessible Ballot” button.
- The application requires that you self-certify that you have a disability that prevents you from completing a paper ballot independently.
- You will receive a message on the screen confirming your application has been submitted, followed by a confirmation by email.
- The Elections Division will process your application and email you at the email address you provided.
- The email will include a retrieval notice to access your ballot.
- This notice will include a link to the ballot download website and a secure username and password.
- You will log into the ballot website with your username and password, where you will download your ballot as a universally accessible PDF file and save it to your computer.
- This download will include all ballots for your voting district, including municipal ballots if they have been provided to the state.
- You can then use any standard screenreader software to assist you in reading and marking the ballot with your choices.
- When you are finished marking the ballot, you will go to the final page and enter your password into the signature box and click the “lock and sign” button to the right. The password will then show as your name.
- When you close the completed ballot PDF, you will need to re-save it to your computer as a completed ballot.
- Send the completed ballot as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line of “Accessible Ballot”. Or, you can reply to the ballot retrieval instructions email and attach your voted ballot PDF.
- Elections Division staff will reply, to let you know your ballot was received, when your ballot is processed.
Maine offers a Practice Accessible (Electronic) Absentee Ballot:
Screenreader Instructions to mark the ballot:
For more information or assistance, please contact your local election official.
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
An accessible ballot marking device is available at all polling places. This can be used to make choices audibly or by a touchscreen display. It allows for alternatives, such as:
- Tactile keys
- Customizable displays
You can contact your local election official.
You can call The Elections Division - 1-888-868-3763, or The Disability Rights Center - 1-800-452-1948 V/TTY.
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 Maine.
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.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia