Voting: Now Get Out and Vote!
On November 8, 2016, millions of Americans will head to the polls to vote for the next President of the United States of America, Vice President and congressional leaders for the US House of Representatives and US Senate. This election, like all, is important and it is even more important for people with disabilities to head to the polls to make their voices heard.
The following is a guide on voting for people with disabilities from the office of the Georgia Secretary of State along with a list of the candidates hoping to receive your vote this election season.
Know your polling place. Find out your polling location through the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
Accessibility: What if I get to my polling location and need assistance?
If a voter with a disability is unable to sign his or her name; to see or mark the answers on the ballot; use the voting equipment; or cannot enter the voting booth without support, they may bring someone to help them.
A voter with a disability can receive support from any individual EXCEPT his or her employer, a representative of his or her employer or a representative of his or her union, nor a poll officer or poll worker, who is a resident of the precinct where the voter needing support is trying to vote. Voters with disabilities can receive assistance from any other individuals including a mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, friend or child, and each individual assisting the voter with a disability must record his or her name on the elector’s voter certificate.
Additionally, poll officers and workers are provided training regarding the use of voting equipment, procedures and all aspects of state and federal laws applicable to conducting elections.
For voters with disabilities who do not require support to vote from another individual, but require accommodation in the form of assistive technology, there are accessible touch screen voting equipment options provided at the polls that allow for assistance but give more privacy and independence for voters to select their choices. These options include:
- An audio ballot for those with visual impairment or who are blind, using headphones and a number keypad similar to an automated phone service.
- A magnifying feature is available on every touch screen voting unit in Georgia that allows you to enlarge the print on the ballot.
- Touch screen voting units that allow a voter to vote while sitting in a chair or wheelchair.
What do you need to vote?
Be sure to show up to your polling location prepared to vote. You must bring photo identification. The acceptable forms of photo identification include:
• Georgia driver’s license, even if expired
• Any valid state or federal issued photo ID, including a free voter ID card issued by your County Registrar’s Office or by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
• Valid US passport
• Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency or entity of the US government, Georgia or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
• Valid US military photo ID
• Valid tribal photo ID
What do I do if I do not have qualified identification?
For many in the disability community, not having qualified identification or a driver’s license is often a barrier to the voting process. You can get either a FREE Georgia Identification Card for voting purposes only from the Department of Driver Services or a FREE Georgia Voter Identification Card at your County Registrar’s Office.
In order to get a Georgia Voter Identification Card, you will need the following:
• A photo identity document or a non-photo identity document showing your full legal name and date of birth
• Documentation showing your date of birth
• Evidence you are registered to vote in Georgia; and
• Documentation showing your name and the address of your principal residence
• For more information visit, http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/countyregistrarsindex.asp to find your County’s Registrar’s Office or visit the Georgia Department of Driver Services website at http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/dldata.aspx?con=1749371755&ty=dl
Are there other options besides voting on Election Day?
In Georgia, there are a couple of ways to submit your vote without ever having to battle the crowds on Election Day. Any voter can request a mail-in ballot without having to provide a reason. To request a mail-in ballot, visit http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/absentee_voting_in_georgia and print out the application form.
Mail, fax or take the completed form in person to your local County Board of Registrar’s Office. It is important to request your mail-in ballot and return it as soon as possible to ensure it is received by the deadline, which is the close of the polls on the actual Election Day.
If you have a disability and need support to read and/or write your forms, you may get help when filling out your mail-in ballot application and the absentee/advance ballot form you will receive. Any person who assists an individual in his or her vote, must sign an oath that is printed either on the mail-in ballot envelope or on the application for mail-in-ballot, whichever is applicable.
Georgia also offers it citizens the option to vote in person at the polls before the big rush on Election Day. Early/advance voting is easy and convenient, since it allows you to vote on a day and time that works for you.
Important Links from the Office of the Secretary of State:
• Voters with Disabilities: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/voters_with_disabilities
• My Voter Page: https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
• Georgia Voter ID Requirements: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/elections/georgia_voter_identification_requirements2
• County Board of Registrars: http://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/countyregistrars.do
External websites such as VoteSmart
www.votesmart.org provide detailed information on candidates and information on their positions on issues that affect the community and nation as a whole.
Early Voting Ends November 4
For start dates and times at your polling place, check with www.mvp.sos.ga.gov and be sure to bring an accepted ID.
Meet Your Candidates
This election season brings a prime education moment for all voters, with and without disabilities, and why being educated on local, state and federal representatives and senators is also important to the political process and the issues that matter to you. Meet the candidates running in this year’s presidential and congressional election. This year, a total of 469 seats in the US Congress – 34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats – are up for election on November 8, 2016. In Georgia, voters will elect 14 candidates to serve in the US House, one from each of the state’s 14 congressional districts. One seat is also up for election for the US Senate.
The President of The United States
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)
Hillary Clinton has served as secretary of state, US senator from New York, first lady of the United States, first lady of Arkansas, a practicing lawyer and law professor, and an activist.
For more information, visit Clinton’s official campaign site at www.hillaryclinton.com
Donald J. Trump (R)
Donald John Trump is an American businessman, television personality, author and politician. He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.
For more information, visit Trump’s official campaign site at www.donaldjtrump.com
Read Perspectives on pages 22 and 23 to see why people with disabilities are supporting the presidential candidates.
GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL RACE
Johnny Isakson (R)*
Jim Barksdale (D)
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Find your district: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Buddy Carter (R)*
Nathan Russo (W)
Sanford Bishop (D)*
Greg Duke (R)
Drew Ferguson (R)
Angela Pendley (D)
Hank Johnson (D)*
Victor Armendariz (R)
John Lewis (D)*
Doug Bell (R)
Tom Price (R)*
Rodney Stooksbury (D)
Rob Woodall (R)*
Rashid Malik (D)
Austin Scott (R)*
James Harris (D)
Doug Collins (R)*
Jody B Hice (R)*
Leonard Ware (W)
Barry Loudermilk (R)*
Don Wilson (D)
Richard W Allen (R)*
Tricia Carpenter McCracken (D)
David Scott (D)*
Tom Graves (R)*
Patrick Boggs (W)
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