In North Carolina, you have the right to the following items as protected by federal law and election staff must be trained to understand 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,
- Accompaniment by your service animal inside your polling place,
- Assistance from a person of your choice
According to the Disability Rights North Carolina, voters in North Carolina also have the right to:
- Vote privately and independently,
- Vote even if you have a guardian,
- Bring someone with you to help you vote or ask a poll worker to help you,
- Use whatever assistive technology you need to cast your vote,
- Vote without proving your capacity to do so,
- Communicate who you are and where you live to the poll workers verbally or by writing it down or with assistance,
- Vote without presenting ID,
- Vote without coercion.
U.S. citizens can vote if:
- You are at least 18 years old on Election Day,
- Have been a resident of the city or county for at least 30 days,
- Do not claim the right to vote elsewhere,
- Have not had your right to vote specifically removed by a court order, unless your right has been restored
- Are not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction, have completed your sentence, or are on probation or parole
- 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 vote.
- In person on Election Day
- In person Early Voting (including same day registration during this period)
- without excuse
- with an electronic ballot if you have a disability
- Provisional ballot
- While abroad as a citizen or military
- By use of a Multipartisan Assistance Team (MAT)
If you have a print disability, you can request an accessible absentee ballot.
- In your application for an absentee ballot, select the box stating that you have a print disability and require an accessible ballot,
- You can practice using this type of accessible ballot using a demo ballot.
Voting systems used in North Carolina must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
- The three different types of accessible voting machines that are used in NC are AutoMARK, Express Vote, and Verity Touch Writer.
You can vote “curbside” if you are disabled or find it difficult to enter and exit the polling place. This means a poll worker will bring a ballot to your car and will return it for you once completed.
- There will be signs to direct you to where you can park for curbside voting,
- You will sign an affidavit saying that you are unable to enter the polling place,
- Some polling places have walk-up curbside voting available.
- Anyone can receive assistance from their legal guardian or near relative (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, mother- or father-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild)
- If you are physically disabled, print disabled, or illiterate, then you can receive help from anyone who is not your employer or works for your labor union
- You cannot be forced to accept assistance from a poll worker
- You can see which accessible voting equipment your county uses,
- You can watch these videos which explain the different types of accessible voting equipment available in NC—Express Vote, AutoMARK, and Verity Touch Writer,
- You can review a sample ballot by selecting Option 4 on the bottom of the website.
If you feel your rights have been violated, you can:
- Contact Disability Rights North Carolina with questions and concerns about accessible voting
- 888-WE VOTE 2
- Complete the form at Disability Rights North Carolina or call 919-856-2195,
- Send a form to your ADA Coordinator containing your name, address, phone number and email address. Include information about the alleged discrimination such as the location, date, and description of the incident,
- Send the complaint to Matt Stone, ADA Coordinator, 6400 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-6400 or email it to ADACoordinator@ncsbe.gov
- You can request to send in a tape recording or interview if a written complaint is not possible due to your disability,
- You need to send the complaint no later than 60 days after the alleged violation.
- Contact the NC State Board of Elections with suggestions about how to make voting more accessible by calling (866) 522-4723 (toll-free) or (919) 814-0700 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can alternatively 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
Contact the National Network of ADA Centers for local contact information of 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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