Voters With Disabilities:

Access to Polling Places and Alternative Voting Methods

GAO-02-107: Published: Oct 15, 2001. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 2001.

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Barbara D. Bovbjerg
(202) 512-5491
contact@gao.gov

 

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Federal law requires that disabled persons have access to polling places on election day. State political subdivisions must ensure that polling places used in federal elections are accessible. Exceptions are allowed if all potential polling places have been surveyed, no accessible place is available, and the political subdivision cannot make one temporarily accessible. In these cases, disabled voters must either be reassigned to an accessible polling place or provided another means for voting on election day. All states have provisions that address voting by people with disabilities, but these provisions vary greatly. All states provide for one or more alternative voting methods or accommodations that may facilitate voting by people with disabilities. States and localities have made several efforts to improve voting accessibility for the disabled, such as modifying poling places, acquiring new voting equipment, and expanding voting options. Nevertheless, state and county election officials GAO surveyed cited various challenges to improving access.

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