Common Voting and Election Laws That You Should Know

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You should be familiar with all the essential common voting and election laws that affect your vote. These laws include the NVRA, HAVA, and ADA. In addition, you should know about curbside voting. In many jurisdictions, bipartisan teams verify that all votes have been correctly transferred to duplicate ballots. These teams are often open to the public.


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public entities to make voting accessible for people with disabilities. It includes requirements for polling places, early voting, and accessibility of polling sites and parking spaces. In addition, it requires election officials and poll workers to undergo training. Therefore, if you or a household member has a disability, you should familiarize yourself with ADA accessibility guidelines and make sure that all election locations meet them.

One of the essential ADA election requirements is providing accessible voting machines and facilities. In federal elections, accessible voting systems must be provided so that all voters with disabilities can cast their ballots. These systems can be direct recording electronic voting systems or any other voting equipment designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Election officials must also be trained in operating accessible voting equipment.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division works to ensure that everyone eligible to vote has the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities face barriers that prevent them from exercising this fundamental right. For example, a 2008 GAO report found that only 27% of polling places were accessible to people with disabilities. The revised ADA Checklist for Polling Places guides election officials on making polling places more accessible for voters with disabilities.


HAVA is a federal law passed in 2002 that addressed improvements to voting systems and voter access since the 2000 election. It mandates that election officials test and maintain voting equipment and establishes a national clearinghouse for election information and resources. It also requires that election officials maintain and update voter lists regularly.

In addition, HAVA makes specific voter identification requirements less demanding for people who do not have access to a government-issued ID. This requirement is waived in federal elections for applicants who provide specified forms of identification with their application. These include a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a social security number.

Curbside Voting

If you cannot attend the polls because of disability, you may qualify for curbside voting. It allows disabled voters to cast their votes without leaving their cars. However, it is only permitted in limited circumstances. Poll managers must make sure that the curbside voting process goes smoothly.

The law requires that people are helping voters to cast their ballots to sign an oath of non-compensation. You must also sign a form if you drive someone to vote curbside. If you have a disability, you can request a provisional ballot. It will be stamped in an envelope. The stub from the envelope will contain instructions on how to verify the count. You can also vote curbside if you cannot attend the polling place. The poll worker will bring your ballot to you so that you can cast your vote.

Curbside voting is a great way to support your local elections. It allows you to cast your vote without a long line or fear of losing your ballot. Curbside voting is also helpful for people with disabilities. Some states even provide a special place for service animals at polling places. However, you should check with your local elections office to ensure that there are no additional requirements for these animals.

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