Items related to polling place accessibility.

6. Lack of privacy for voters casting a paper ballot.

Details

State law requires that a table or booth be available for voters with disabilities who wish to cast a paper ballot and who do not wish to use the accessible voting system.  This booth or table should meet all ADA requirements for height, width and toe/knee clearance (figure 1).  The booth or table also should be clearly visible when voters enter the voting area and be positioned or set up to ensure voter privacy.

3. Insufficient signage for accessible entrances.

Details

The accessible entrance of the polling place must be marked with the universal symbol of accessibility.  This allows voters with mobility issues to easily identify the accessible entrance.  It also lessens the possibility that a voter with a disability will enter a facility at an entry point that does not afford them access to the voting area or to an elevator or wheelchair lift that they would need to use to travel to the voting area.   

2. Lack of accessible parking spaces and/or insufficient signage for accessible parking spaces

Details

All facilities that serve as polling places must have accessible parking available on Election Day.  For facilities with off-street parking (i.e. parking lots/areas) there must be at least one Van-Accessible parking space available and the number of required additional accessible parking spaces is determined by the total number of parking spaces in the parking area

 

1. Required election notices are not always posted or not printed in 18-point type size

Details

Current Wisconsin law requires notices, instructions, sample ballots and ward maps to be posted in each polling place.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all of these postings be printed in at least 18-point type so that voters with vision impairments will have increased access to these resources.

Absentee Voting

Any eligible Wisconsin voter can vote by absentee ballot for each election.  Absentee voting can be done by mail or in-person in the clerk’s office.

If you choose to voter an absentee ballot by mail, you must make a request in writing or fill out an absentee ballot request form and send it to your municipal clerk.  You may request an absentee ballot for a specific election or for all elections within a calendar year.

Assisting Voters with Disabilities

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) created a requirement that every polling place have accessible voting equipment available for each election.  The State of Wisconsin used funds provided through HAVA to assist municipalities with purchasing accessible voting equipment.  By 2006, every municipality in the state met this requirement and six accessible voting systems are currently in use statewide.

Polling Place Accessibility

Every Wisconsin voter has a right to cast a ballot privately and independently at their polling place on Election Day.  In addition, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that every polling place in the State of Wisconsin meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards.  Local election officials have a responsibility to guarantee that each of their polling places meets these standards and that all voters are provided with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot.