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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Information Alert: Voting Day Hotlines for Polling Place and Voter Issues

It is every voter’s right to cast a private and independent ballot during early voting and Election Day. Unfortunately, according to a 2012 study (PDF) conducted by Rutgers University, 30 percent of voters with disabilities and 8 percent of voters without disabilities experienced at least one difficulty in casting their ballot during the 2012 General Election. From polling place inaccessibility, to confusing voter identification requirements, to fraudulent election monitoring practices, there are a number of concerning problems that could discourage eligible voters from casting their ballot this election. It is important to stress that there are a number of hotlines dedicated to addressing these problems that can help voters know their rights and resources and cast their ballots.

Disability-Specific Hotlines: Many state-level Protection and Advocacy (P&A) organizations run hotlines to address the voting barriers that specifically affect voters with disabilities, and can help to address issues such as inaccessible polling places, poll workers who are uninformed about voters with disabilities or accessible equipment, and other disability-specific barriers to voting. Already in this election, voters with disabilities have experienced inaccessibility at early voting sites, and the prompt action of hotlines like that of Disability Rights Texas have been able to help affected voters ensure that they are able to cast their ballots. A list of P&A hotlines by state is available online.

General Voting Hotlines: The Election Protection Coalition, a nonpartisan coalition that works year-round to protect your right to vote, facilitates a number of hotlines that provide guidance and information to callers facing any sort of problem or complication at the polls, or who simply have questions about their voting rights. They provide the following hotlines:

  • 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) – English – Led by the Lawyers’ Committee
  • 888-Ve-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682 – Bilingual: English & Spanish – Led NALEO Education Fund
  • 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) – Bilingual: English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Urdu and Tagalog – Led by APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice—AAJC
  • #YallaVote 844-418-1682 – Bilingual: English and Arabic – Led by the Arab American Institute

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