Multipartisan Assistance Team (MAT)
A multipartisan assistance team, or “MAT,” is a group appointed by a county board of elections to assist with mail-in absentee voting and other services to voters living at facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
A MAT includes, at a minimum, two people who have different party affiliations (or, in the alternative, persons who were unanimously appointed by a bipartisan county board of elections). If you request help from a MAT, you should receive impartial, professional assistance. Their job is to help you vote, but your voting choices will remain confidential.
MATs are authorized to help voters in the following ways, with specific legal requirements:
- Providing voter registration services.
- Requesting an absentee ballot.
- Serving as an absentee witness.
- Marking the absentee ballot.
- Sealing the ballot and completing the absentee application.
- Mailing the voted absentee ballot in the closest U.S. mail depository or mailbox, if the voter has a disability.
In the event that a resident requires the help of a team member with the actual marking of a ballot, the voter’s selection is kept in strict confidence.
Recent Court Case
Important Note: In July 2022, a federal court issued an order that struck down state laws barring certain individuals from helping a voter request, complete, or submit an absentee ballot, if that voter needs help due to a disability.
As a result of that order, an absentee voter who needs assistance voting due to a disability generally may receive assistance from any person they choose. The only restrictions are that persons witnessing a ballot must be at least 18 years old and may not be a candidate (unless a person in a care facility asks a candidate to assist due to disability). Voters in care facilities may still request and use a MAT team, but they are not required to do so if they need assistance due to a disability. Voters who need assistance due to a disability may receive assistance from the staff of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home where they are a patient or resident. They may also receive assistance from an elected official, political party officeholder, or candidate.
The following individuals are still prohibited from assisting absentee voters who do not need assistance voting due to disability, if that voter is a patient/resident of a hospital, clinic, nursing home or rest home:
- Any owner, manager, director, or employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home
- An individual who holds any elective office
- An individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party