Accessible Voting for Persons with Disabilities
Assistance with Voting
Webpage updated: October 11, 2022
Florida laws provide that voting methods (whether voting at the polls or voting-by-mail) be fully accessible to all voters, including persons with a disability. Options are available to allow voters to cast a ballot with or without assistance:
- Vote on an accessible marking device at accessible polling places. First, all polling places must be accessible and usable by persons with disabilities. They must include; but not limited to, having one or more signed accessible parking spaces, ensuring an accessible route, and providing sufficient light along path of travel and within the polling place. See section 101.715, Florida Statutes. Federal and state laws require at least one accessible voting system to be in each polling place. Such systems are made available during early voting period or Election Day. An accessible marking device allows you to vote with little or no assistance and in secret. Florida has certified accessible voting systems for use by persons with disabilities. A list of accessible voting systems by county can be found here (PDF /Excel). Accessible voting systems must meet at least 12 major categories of accessibility standards. See 52 U.S.C. § 21081 (a)(3) of the Help America Vote Act and section 101.56062, Florida Statutes.
- Receive personal help at the polls during early voting or on Election Day. You can still choose to receive help at a polling place. You do not have to reveal the nature or extent of your disability. You can choose anyone to help you except your employer or an agency of your employer or an officer or agency of your union. You can alternatively get the help of two members of the Supervisor of Elections staff. See section 101.051, Florida Statutes. Unless you noted it on your voter registration application that you might need help at the polls, you will have to fill out a form affirming you need help at the polls. The clerk can help you fill out the form. In addition, the person you choose to help you will have to fill out a form (unless that person is election staff) saying he or she will provide help. If you have any questions about receiving help in voting, please ask the clerk or inspector at the polling place.
- Vote an accessible vote-by-mail ballot. A voter with disability can receive and mark an accessible ballot independently and privately from their own home or other location. Accessible ballot services or electronic ballot delivery and marking systems allow a person with disabilities to receive a ballot electronically upon request. Depending on the system available in the county, the voter has the option to mark the ballot, with or without compatible assistive devices or software that are part of the program or external to the program. At a minimum, a person will need a computer and a printer to be able to use these services or systems. 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 about the accessible vote-by-mail system or service used in your county.
- Receive assistance to vote-by-mail. If you receive a vote-by-mail ballot and are unable to personally mark or select your choices, you still can have anyone, other than your employer, agent of your employer or an officer or agent of your union, mark the choices for you or have the person assist you in marking your choices on the ballot. See section 101.661, Florida Statutes.
- Participate in supervised voting. Supervised voting is available to any resident of an assisted living facility or nursing home. The facility’s administrator has to request the service or the Supervisor of Elections may provide the service if residents have requested vote-by-mail ballots. Supervised voting involves a supervised voting team from the Supervisor of Elections’ office who deliver the ballots and jointly supervise the voting. The date and time of supervised voting is scheduled in conjunction with the facility’s administrator. A resident voter always has the option to keep the ballot to vote at a later time and the right to seek help from someone other than the supervised voting team outside of the presence of the team to vote if made available at your assisted living or nursing home facility. See section 101.655, Florida Statutes.
Contact your county Supervisor of Elections for more information.
Polling Place Accessibility
Federal and state laws require all polling places to be accessible for voting. (Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (52 U.S.C. ch. 201) and section 101.715, Florida Statutes).
For accessible voting systems used in your county, refer to chart (PDF / Excel). For more information and instructions on how to vote on accessible systems, please contact your county Supervisor of Elections.
For more information about services for and the rights of persons with disabilities, please refer to the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Disability Rights Florida, and the U.S. Department of Justice's disability rights section.