Election Accessibility in the City of Madison
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 8:17am
Accessibility to voting is just one way the City of Madison Clerk’s Office achieves its goal of making sure that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot and have that ballot counted. Clerk’s Office staff and election officials use several tools to make sure voting is accessible in the City of Madison:
- Election officials use the Disability Rights Wisconsin polling place checklist on election morning to make sure each City of Madison polling place is accessible.
- Curbside voting is available at each polling place if it is difficult or burdensome for you to access the room where voting takes place. Someone just needs to notify the poll workers or the Clerk’s Office that you would like to vote curbside.
- If you are indefinitely confined to your home due to disability, illness, or age, you can request absentee ballots for all future elections. If you choose to receive absentee ballots as an indefinitely confined voter, you do not need to provide photo ID. You will continue receiving ballots as long as you return a ballot for each election. This absentee request can be submitted on paper or online through the MyVote Wisconsin website.
- The ExpressVote is available at every City of Madison polling place and in-person absentee voting site. This ballot-marking machine allows you to mark your ballot using a Braille keypad or a touchscreen with large print and high contrast options. The ExpressVote is also compatible with sip-and-puff devices. All eligible voters are allowed to use the machine, and ballots marked by the ExpressVote are counted by the same tabulator as pen-marked ballots. The machine should be positioned in a way that passersby cannot see a voter’s selections. If you’re using the headphones, you can also black out the screen for additional privacy. The ExpressVote also offers Spanish translation.
- You can ask anyone to assist you in physically marking your ballot, but there are just two restrictions: the assistant cannot be your employer or your union agent. Your assistant will mark the candidates chosen by you, and they will sign the space on the ballot designated for the assistant’s signature.
- You can request a Braille ballot either as an absentee ballot or as a ballot at the polling place. You would need to contact the Clerk’s Office ahead of time to allow for printing time. If you want more information about this option, you may contact the Clerk’s Office at (608) 266-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is also an invaluable resource. Their website and hotline provides voters with information about voting rights, information on upcoming elections, and videos that walk voters through the registration process, voting absentee, and voting in-person.
A reminder to voters about registration and photo ID
If you have not already registered at your current address, you can do so at any in-person absentee voting site through Friday, Feb. 12, or at the polls on Election Day. You will need to present a document showing your name at your 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.
You will need to present photo ID when you go to vote. If you need to obtain a Wisconsin ID to use as your voter ID, call the Dane County Voter ID Coalition hotline at (608) 285-2141 for free assistance.
- Maribeth Witzel-Behl, (608) 266-4601, email@example.com