Texans with Disabilities Vote! Your Vote Matters
Information for Individuals with Disabilities from Disability Rights Texas
You have the right to:
- Vote by yourself and make your own choices.
- Get help from a person of your choice or an election worker.
- Use a physically accessible polling place and an accessible voting machine.
- Vote if you have a guardian, unless a court determines you cannot.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
The goal of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), passed by Congress in 2002, is to make the voting process more inclusive and accessible so that more Americans will become registered voters and participate in elections.
Disability Rights Texas is the protection and advocacy agency designated by HAYA to help ensure accessible voting in Texas. Specialists on our staff can answer questions, respond to legal violations, and troubleshoot problems related to your voting rights. There are no costs for these services.
DRTx provides the following services related to voters with disabilities:
- Educates voters, election workers, and other persons involved in the voting process about the rights of people with disabilities.
- Provides information to people with disabilities about voter registration and the chance to register to vote.
- Provides advice about access to polling places on Election Day.
- Works with groups representing people with disabilities and other organizations in registering voters and surveying polling places for accessibility.
- Represents/advocates for individuals with disabilities who have complaints about the voting process.
Who can register to vote?
Any United States citizen residing in Texas who:
- Is at least 18 years old on Election Day
- Is not in jail for a felony conviction or on parole for a felony conviction.
- Has not had their right to vote removed by a judge in a guardianship hearing.
How to register to vote.
- By mail: Request an application from your local voter registration office.
- In person: At the Department of Public Safety (Drivers License) Office, Public Library, Post Office, or any state agency that provides public assistance.
- Online: Use a computer and go to: votetexas.gov/register-to-vote.
Within 30 days of sending in your application, you will receive your voter registration card in the mail.
Different ways to vote.
In addition to voting in person on Election Day, you can vote in these ways:
- Annual application for ballot by mail: Voters with disabilities may apply for an annual application for ballot by mail. Voters who choose the annual option will receive a mail ballot for all elections held during a calendar year. Annual applications may be submitted starting January 1, but not later than 11 days before Election Day.
- Regular application for ballot by mail: Voters with disabilities who do not request an annual ballot by mail application may submit an application for a single election starting January 1, but not later than 11 days before Election Day.
To apply to vote by mail, call the Office of the Secretary of State at 1-800-252-8683 or complete the application at http://tinyurl.com/TxVoteMail.
- Early voting: You can vote early in person at any polling place in your county. Early voting begins 17 days before an election and ends four days before an election.
- Curbside voting: If you are physically unable to enter a polling place or stand in line to vote, you can ask an election official to bring your ballot to your vehicle or to the entrance of the polling place. You can vote curbside during early voting or on Election Day. TIP FOR VOTER WITH DISABILITY: If you plan to go alone to vote curbside, it is wise to call ahead so election officials will expect you. Generally speaking, you may vote curbside during the early voting period (the 17th day before Election Day until the 4th day before Election Day) or on Election Day. For a May uniform election date or resulting runoff election, the early voting period is the 12th day before Election Day until the 4th day before Election Day.
What to bring when you vote.
You must have ONE of the following current forms of identification when you vote:
- Texas Drivers License or ID
- Texas Election Identification Certificate
- Texas Handgun LicenseU.S. Military ID
- U.S. Citizenship Certificate with photo
- U.S. Passport