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AG Nessel Praises SOS and Expanded Access for Voters with Disabilities

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is recognizing a resolution reached Friday between the State and the Michigan Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind to temporarily expand voting access in Tuesday’s elections for those with visual impairments. 

The resolution will allow the Michigan Secretary of State’s (SOS) Bureau of Elections to extend blind and severely disabled voters the option of receiving a Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting (UOCAVA) ballot, which are typically reserved for overseas voters and members of the military. 

The Bureau of Elections will ensure that UOCAVA ballots can be completed by blind or severely disabled individuals independently by using electronic screen reader software. 

The resolution was part of a court order issued Friday by Judge Gershwin Drain in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

“I applaud the Michigan Secretary of State for helping to broaden voting opportunities to a vulnerable community more significantly impacted than most,” Nessel said. “This resolution is good news for Michigan’s electoral process and a win for democracy everywhere.” 

Forms for requesting accessible electronic ballots are available on the Bureau’s website and must be submitted by 4 p.m. Tuesday. Submissions must include a declaration that the individual requesting the ballot is blind or otherwise disabled and cannot complete a traditional paper absentee ballot. 

Disabled voters can return ballots to their local clerks by: 

  • Hand-delivering them to the clerk’s office by 8 p.m. Tuesday; 
  • Requesting they be picked up by their local clerk’s office by 4 p.m. Tuesday; or 
  • First-class mail postmarked on or before Tuesday. 

Click here to view a copy of the court order (PDF)

For more voter instructions, visit the state’s website on elections