Voting locations must be made accessible for all people, regardless of ability. Under State and Federal law, all voters must be given the same opportunity for access and participation in the voting process.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from receiving unequal treatment within state and local government services, programs, and activities. (ADA, Title II) This law protects your right to vote by making sure that voters with disabilities have access to:
An accessible route to the entrance
An accessible entrance
An accessible route to the voting area
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) protects the right of people with disabilities to vote by making sure that:
Voting locations are easy to get to and to use.
People who are blind or have problems seeing get the help they need.
Voting is private and personal.
Each polling location has an accessible voting machine.
Every polling location is required to have a voting machine that is ADA-compliant. These machines include features like audio ballots, large print/zoom features, and height and tilt adjustments on the screens. Please let the poll workers know if you have questions or need assistance with the voting machine.
Any Carroll County voter can use the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal (VAT). The AutoMARK is an optical scan ballot marker designed for use by people who are unable to personally mark an optical scan ballot due to physical impairments or language barriers.
To mark your ballot using the AutoMARK:
Insert your ballot into the machine. (NOTE: It make take up to 4 minutes for the ballot to display, a status bar will let you know how it's going).
Select your language using the touchscreen.
Review the instructions (video and audio options available), hit Next to proceed to the ballot.
Make your candidate selections. Select candidates by touching their names, touch again to deselect. To vote for a write-in candidate, touch the Write-In line - a keyboard will appear. Type in the name of the candidate and touch the Record Write-In button to continue.
Use the Next and Back buttons to navigate if your ballot is more than one page long.
Once you've reviewed your choices, touch the Mark Ballot button.
When the ballot has been marked and returned to you, feed it into the precinct's Optical Scanner/Tabulator to cast your vote.
Casting your ballot
Instructions for marking and casting your ballot are posted in each voting location. If you have any questions about how to mark or cast your ballot, or if you have incorrectly marked a ballot, contact an election official for instructions.
Assistance at the voting location
If you need assistance, you may bring someone with you to help you vote, or you may ask for assistance from the election officials. You may ask anyone to help you vote, except for the following people:
An agent of your employer
An agent of your union
Any candidate whose name appears on the ballot
You may also get help in marking your ballot from election officials from two different political parties. Whomever helps you vote cannot tell you how to mark your ballot or provide information to others about how you voted.
Signing election documents
If you are unable to sign your own name and have no other legal mark, make an "X," if possible, on the signature line. The person who witnessed you making that mark must write his or her name beneath the signature line.
If you are unable to make an "X," you must indicate in some manner to the person assisting you that you want to sign your name. The person helping you must sign the election form and attest that you indicated that you want to sign the election form.
At any polling place that is exempt from the accessibility requirements, if you are unable to enter the polling place, you may vote curbside. Trained election officials from both major political parties will bring a ballot to you. You may sit in your car and vote, or you may vote at the door of the building.