Monday, February 10, 2020 - 8:11am
The City of Madison Clerk’s Office is highlighting accessible options for voters of all abilities to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted.
Poll workers at each City of Madison polling place use the Disability Rights Wisconsin polling place checklist on election morning to verify accessibility.
Voters with disabilities should be aware that they may vote from the curb of the polling place if it is difficult or burdensome to access the room where voting takes place; someone just needs to notify the poll workers or the Clerk’s Office that there is a curbside voter.
Voters who are indefinitely confined to their home due to disability or age may request absentee ballots for all elections. Voters on the permanent absentee list do not need to submit a copy of their ID to the Clerk's Office. They will continue receiving ballots as long as they return a ballot for each election to the Clerk's Office. This absentee request can be submitted on paper or online through https://MyVote.wi.gov .
The ExpressVote, which is available at every City of Madison polling place and absentee voting site, allows voters to mark their ballot using a Braille keypad or a touchscreen with large print and high contrast options. Ballots marked by the ExpressVote are counted by the same machine that counts traditional ballots. The ExpressVote is also compatible with sip-and-puff devices. This ballot marking device is available to all eligible voters. It should be positioned in a way that passersby cannot see a voter’s selections. For additional ballot secrecy, voters using the headphones as they select their candidates may choose to black out the screen. The ExpressVote also offers Spanish translation.
Voters may select anyone to assist them in physically marking their ballot. The only restrictions are that the assistant may not be the voter’s employer or union agent. The assistant will mark the candidates chosen by the voter, and will sign the space on the ballot designated for the assistant’s signature.
Voters may request that the Clerk’s Office provide them with a Braille ballot either as an absentee ballot or as a ballot at the polling place. Advance notice is needed to print the ballot. Voters seeking more information about this option may contact the Clerk’s Office at (608) 266-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible voters who have not already registered may do so at any absentee voting site through this Friday or at the polls on Election Day. These voters will need to present a document showing their name at their current address. The acceptable documents most commonly used as proof of address are unexpired Wisconsin driver license or ID cards, utility bills issued within the past 90 days, bank statements, and government documents.
Eligible voters who need to obtain a Wisconsin ID to use as their voter ID may call the Dane County Voter ID Coalition hotline at (608) 285-2141 for free assistance, including a free cab ride to the DMV.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, (608) 266-4601, email@example.com