National Disability Voter Registration Week
Monday, July 16, 2018 - 1:42pm
The City Clerk’s Office is celebrating National Disability Voter Registration Week by partnering with the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition and the Wisconsin Council for the Blind to highlight accessible options for voters of all abilities to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted. They will hold a joint press conference at the City-County Building this Tuesday, July 17, at 8 a.m.
Eligible voters who have a Wisconsin ID or Wisconsin driver license can register online at https://MyVote.wi.gov. The voter’s address on file with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation needs to be current, but can be updated at the DOT website. The address printed on the ID will not matter when showing voter ID to obtain a ballot.
City of Madison eligible voters may register at any Madison Public Library or at the front desk of any City of Madison agency, regardless of whether they have a Wisconsin ID. These voters will need to present a document showing their name at their current address. The most common acceptable documents used as proof of address are unexpired Wisconsin ID cards, utility bills issued within the past 90 days, bank statements, and government documents.
Absentee Voting by Mail
Once registered, voters who want to receive an absentee ballot in the mail may submit their request online at https://MyVote.wi.gov. A picture or scan of the voter’s ID will need to be uploaded through this website. The Dane County Voter ID Coalition (608-285-2141) offers free help with obtaining a Wisconsin ID, including a cab ride to the DMV.
Voters who are indefinitely confined to their home due to disability or age may request absentee ballots for all subsequent elections at https://MyVote.wi.gov. Indefinitely confined voters will not be required to provide voter ID. They need to return a ballot every election in order to remain on this permanent absentee voter list.
The City of Madison offers braille ballots upon request.
Absentee Voting In Person
An accessible ExpressVote ballot marking device is available at every absentee voting site in the City of Madison. This device prints a ballot with the selections the voter makes on a touch screen or braille keypad. The ExpressVote offers large print and high contrast options, has headphones, and is compatible with sip & puff devices. Voters are able to double-check their selections before printing the ballot. The ballot is counted by the same tabulator that counts ballots marked by pen.
In-person absentee voting is available in the City Clerk’s Office now and begins at all Madison Public Library locations and Streets East on Monday, July 30.
Voter registration is available at the polls on Election Day, with proof of address.
By law, all polling places must be accessible to voters with disabilities. Both the City of Madison and the Wisconsin Elections Commission audit polling places for accessibility. On election morning, City of Madison poll workers use an accessibility checklist prepared by Disability Rights Wisconsin to identify and address any barriers.
Voters with mobility issues or difficulty waiting in line may vote from the curb of their polling place. The curbside voter should either send someone into the polling place to notify the poll workers, or contact the Clerk’s Office heading to the polls. Poll workers check the voter into the poll book and announce that the voter will be receiving their ballot at the curb. Two poll workers bring the voter a ballot, marking pen, and secrecy sleeve to their vehicle at the curb. After checking the voter’s ID and receiving the voter’s marked ballot, the two poll workers carry the secrecy sleeve containing the ballot back into the polling place, and insert the ballot into the tabulator to be counted.
Voters who would like to have a braille ballot available at their polling location just need to let the Clerk’s Office know in advance.
Voters who would like help marking their ballot have some options:
- They may use the accessible ExpressVote ballot marking device.
- They may bring someone to the polling place to assist them with marking the ballot, as long as that person is not their employer or labor union representative.
- They may ask a poll worker or someone else in the polling place to assist them with marking the ballot.