Do you have an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Coordinator on staff to assist and answer questions from voters with disabilities?
Yes. The ADA Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the efforts of our agency to comply with the ADA, respond to complaints filed by the public, and ensure that all eligible voters have equal access to the voting process.
I have a disability; can I still register to vote?
Yes. In order to register to vote, you must:
How can I register to vote?
Do I need to provide ID?
What programs and services do you provide for voters with disabilities, senior citizens, and no or limited English proficient voters?
DCBOE provides the following services to ensure every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote:
Voter Access Services
English is not my first language. Are interpreters available at the polling place?
The D.C. Board of Election provides language access services for customers/voters who are limited or non-English proficient (LEP/NEP). Pursuant to the Language Access Act of 2004, we offer translated election related material in Amharic (አማርኛ), Chinese (中文), French (Français), Korean (한국어), Spanish (Español) and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt). However, we also offer a full range of professional interpreting services via LanguageLine, including more than 9,000 highly trained interpreters who are fluent in over 240 languages and American Sign Language Interpreters (ASL) for constituents who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing.
Do I have to vote in person?
Can I participate in Board Meetings and Hearings if I am physically unable to attend?
Is my polling site accessible?
Yes. All early voting centers in the District meet strict Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. On Election Day, we work collaboratively with other government agencies and volunteers to maintain accessible polling sites.
Will I be allowed to bring my service animal inside the polling place?
Yes. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Is there someone who can help me if I do not know what to do once I am at the polling place? Can my spouse/partner/child/friend/neighbor help me inside the voting booth?
Yes. Feel free to bring a relative, friend or neighbor to assist you, as long as they are not your employer, an election observer, or union representative. DCBOE Voter Assistance Clerks will also be on hand to help at every Early Voting Center and Election Day polling place.
My assigned polling place is not accessible for my specific needs. Can I vote somewhere else?
Yes. DCBOE offers Curbside Voting at all polling places on Election Day. You or someone you know can vote a ballot right from the comfort of your car. A Voter Assistance Clerk will be available to confirm your voter registration and bring you your ballot.
Another option is to request a ballot transfer. DCBOE will provide you with a ballot at a closer, more accessible location, as long as the request is made at least seven days before Election Day.
Are your voting machines accessible? Is assistance required to use these machines?
Can I change my vote choice(s) before I cast my vote?
Yes. The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires any new voting equipment to allow voters the opportunity to change their choices privately and independently before the ballot is cast and counted.
What should I do if someone pressures me to vote for a particular candidate?
Please ask to speak with the Precinct Captain and report the matter/ individual immediately. While you are able to receive help with voting from an Election Day Worker or a person of your choosing, no person or official providing voter assistance should in any way influence or attempt to influence your choice in voting. Any person who violates this rule is subject to a $10,000 fine or imprisonment up to five years, or both, pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 1-1001.14(a).
I have trouble reading and understanding what is printed on my ballot. I would like to be able to vote privately and without help, just like everyone else. What are my rights?
The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that voters with disabilities be able to cast their vote privately and without assistance.
Each polling place has at least two (2) accessible voting machines. These new voting machines use assistive and adaptive technology to provide the opportunity for voters with a wide range of disabilities to vote privately and independently.
May I move to the front of the line on Election Day if my disability requires it?
Yes. Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), moving to the front of the line when necessary would be a reasonable accommodation. If your disability prevents you from staying in line, let an Election Day Worker know and ask to be moved to the front of the line. If you choose to stay in line, however, the poll worker cannot make you move to the front of the line just because you have a disability.
I have a cognitive disability, are there any restrictions on my right to vote in the District of Columbia?
No. Assuming you meet all other requirements to vote, you are eligible to vote unless there is a current and a valid court order that indicates that a court has found you legally incompetent to vote. It is not up to an Election Day Worker to determine your competence to vote. Even if you have a guardian, you will still be allowed to vote as long as you are eligible.
Can I vote if I live in a nursing home, hospital, or other facility?
Yes. You can vote in-person or by Absentee Ballot, as described above. Alternatively, if you are living at a licensed District of Columbia nursing home, assisted living facility, or federal medical center, you may register to vote, request an Absentee Ballot, and have your ballot hand-delivered by a Board employee to your facility or bedside. Please contact your nursing home administrator immediately if you would like to request an Absentee Ballot.
I filled out my Sample Ballot ahead of time. Can I bring it inside the polling place as a “guide”?
Yes. You may bring in sample ballots and other “notes” to assist you with voting, but you must take them with you when you leave.
I lost or damaged my Absentee Ballot. Can I get a replacement?
Yes. You should contact the Board to have a replacement Absentee Ballot mailed to you.
Is there a way for me to vote if I experience a health crisis shortly before an election?
An Emergency Absentee Ballot is made available on the sixth day leading up to an election. You must meet certain criteria to request this ballot from the Board. To vote an Emergency Absentee Ballot, you must fill out an Emergency Absentee Ballot Application. This form is available at www.dcboe.org or in office.
Can I be an Election Day Worker if I have a disability?
Yes. Having a disability is not grounds to bar an otherwise qualified person from serving as an Election Day Worker. There is an application process and a mandatory training class. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact the ADA Coordinator at (202) 727-2525 or 711. Sign language interpreters and other language access services are available upon request.
Do we provide reasonable accommodations?