Wisconsin ensures that voting is accessible for individuals with disabilities, including non-visual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides equal access and participation (including privacy and independence).
Any voter who needs help at the polls has a right to assistance. By law, a polling place must be accessible to a person with disabilities. It is a good idea to check the accessibility of the polling place ahead of time. You may find the building not accessible or have trouble getting to the polling location inside the building. If so, you may request that a poll worker bring a ballot to the building entrance or bring a friend along to assist you. If your polling place is not accessible, notify your city, town or village clerk's office and the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
Voting on Election Day
Know Your Rights Voters with disabilities should know their rights. A voter with a disability cannot be turned away from the polls because a poll worker thinks they are not ‘qualified’ to vote. Disability or medical diagnosis does not take away the right to vote. Only the courts can take away that right.
To ensure that our voting process is accessible to all, disabled voters have the right to request accommodations.
These are some of the most widely used accommodations:
Curbside voting is required by state statute for any voter who cannot enter the polling place due to disability. Contact your clerk in advance to ask how to access curbside voting.
If a voter needs help marking the ballot, they may have a person of their choice assist them. That person does not need to be qualified to vote. The voter may bring someone with them or request assistance from a poll worker. The assistor cannot be the voter’s employer or union representative.
If a voter inside the polling location cannot sign the poll list due to a physical disability, they should inform a poll worker. The poll worker will write “Exempt by order of inspectors'' in the signature space on the poll list.
All polling places must have accessible voting equipment set up and turned on. This equipment allows voters to independently and privately mark the ballot. It should be set up to allow voters who use a wheelchair to reach the controls and have an audio ballot marking option for voters with a visual disability. Any voter may use this equipment.
The poll worker may ask voters to speak their name and address. If a voter is unable to state their name and address, Wisconsin law allows voters to have poll workers or assistor of their choosing state their name and address on their behalf prior to receiving a ballot. Voters can also provide their information in writing to poll workers or assistors.
Other reasonable accommodations can be requested. Speak to the chief inspector at your polling place.
If you need help returning your ballot because you have a disability, your rights are protected by the Voting Rights Act. You must be permitted to receive assistance from someone of your choice, other than your employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of your union.
The person returning your ballot may also be the person who assists you with completing your ballot and/or who acts as your witness.
It is up to you, the voter, to determine if you need assistance mailing or delivering your ballot because of disability. Election officials cannot inquire about your disability status beyond the questions described below. No additional steps may be taken to verify your disability or right to assistance.
Clerks may not create additional requirements or require documentation from voters with disabilities who need ballot return assistance.
You may check with your Municipal Clerk to determine where your assistor should deliver your ballot. Find contact information for your Clerk on My Vote Wisconsin: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/MyMunicipal-Clerk