Help for Voters with Disabilities
North Carolina law allows any voter to receive assistance going in or out of a voting booth, as well as preparing a ballot, if the person providing help is a near relative or legal guardian of the voter.
A near relative is a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, mother- or father-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, stepparent or stepchild.
Some voters may receive help from other assistants. If a voter meets any condition below, he or she is eligible to get help from a person of their choice, except the voter's employer or union representative, or an agent thereof.
- a voter who, because of physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without help.
- a voter who, because of physical disability, is unable to mark a ballot without help
- a voter who, because of illiteracy, is unable to mark a ballot without help
- a voter who, because of blindness, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark a ballot without help
Any voter who qualifies for assistance may ask for help at any one-stop early voting site or Election Day polling place.
When arriving at a voting place, the voter should request permission for help from the chief judge, stating the reasons he or she needs help. The voter may then identify the person he or she wants to help them. The assistant may go into in the voting booth with the voter.
The assistant may not:
- try to persuade or induce any voter to cast a vote in a particular way.
- make any record of anything that occurs in the voting booth
- reveal to any person how the assisted voter voted, unless the person giving help is called to testify in court
Accessible Polling Places
Federal and state laws require early voting locations and Election Day polling sites to be accessible to all voters.
All voters with disabilities have the right to vote privately and independently. They also have the right to cast their ballots at an accessible polling place with voting machines for voters with disabilities.
If you are aware of problems or potential problems with accessibility, please contact the county board of elections.
Accessible Voting Equipment
Voting systems used in North Carolina must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Federal law and state requirements require voting systems to be equipped with features to help voters with disabilities cast their ballot privately and independently.
This allows these voters to have the same opportunity for access and participation as any other voter. Every Election Day precinct and one-stop early voting site must have at least one accessible voting machine available.
Three types of accessible machines, which mark ballots for the voter, are used by North Carolina counties: the AutoMARK from Elections Systems & Software (ES&S), the ExpressVote from ES&S and the Verity Touch Writer from Hart InterCivic. For more information, see the Voting Equipment page.
The State Board of Elections is committed to making voting as accessible as possible for all North Carolina residents. Please let us know how we can improve voting accessibility by calling us at (866) 522-4723 (toll free) or (919) 814-0700. You may also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.