What accommodations have been made in Michigan to support voters with disabilities?
Voting at the polls can present a unique set of challenges to people with disabilities. Federal and state laws require Michigan's cities, townships and villages to provide a reasonable number of accessible registration facilities. It is the intent of the law to ensure that voters with disabilities are fully able to exercise their voting rights at the polls. Any action or physical barrier that prevents voters with disabilities from casting a ballot is unacceptable.
To ensure that proper accessibility is maintained, federal and state laws require polling places to remove or make accommodations for any barriers that prevent voters with disabilities from voting. Care should be taken to ensure that the polling place is accessible - doors should not be blocked, alternatives to stairs such as ramps or elevators should be available, and lighting and seating should be adequate. Furthermore, at least one voting station should be adapted to allow a person to vote while seated.
Voters with disabilities who require assistance in casting a ballot have a few options:
- use of the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal – a ballot marking device that reads the ballot and marks the voter’s selection(s) for tabulation
- receive assistance from another person if the person assisting the voter is not the voter's employer, agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs
- receive assistance from two election inspectors of different political parties
- obtain an absentee ballot
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