North Carolina State Board of Elections Accessibility Policy for Alternative Formats
Notice Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), the North Carolina State Board of Elections (State Board) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in the voting process, including providing prompt and timely equal access to absentee by mail voting.
“Alternative Formats”: Braille, large print, audio, and accessible electronic formats that provide effective communication of print information to individuals with vision disabilities.
Responsibilities of ADA Coordinator
The ADA Coordinator shall receive and resolve questions and complaints about the accessibility of the voting process for people with disabilities in North Carolina. The ADA Coordinator shall ensure that the State Board keeps records of all requests by blind individuals for accessible alternative formats, and the State Board’s resolution of the request, for two years after the matter is closed.
General Provisions for Accessing Alternative Formats
All requests for alternative format materials shall be made to the ADA Coordinator. If the request is received by any other State Board staff member or a county board of elections, it shall be forwarded to the ADA Coordinator. The ADA Coordinator will contact the voter within three business days of receiving a request to determine what type of alternative format is needed to ensure effective communication. The ADA Coordinator will engage in a dialogue with the voter about the request.
The State Board will give consideration to the type of accommodation requested but can deny that specific accommodation if:
- Another equally effective means of communication is available;
- The aid or service requested would fundamentally alter the nature of the program, service, or activity; or
- Providing the aid or service requested would result in undue financial and administrative burdens to the State Board. If another option is available that would result in effective communication and not an undue burden, the State Board shall provide it.
The decision that an accommodation would result in such an alteration or an undue burden will be made by the Executive Director of the State Board, or her designee, after considering all resources available for use in the funding and operation of the service, program, or activity, and will be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
Any accommodation granted in accordance with this policy will be provided at no cost to the requestor.
Requests for Alternative Format Absentee Ballots
The State Board will consider requests for alternative format absentee ballots from blind voters for whom the accessible electronic absentee portal is not an effective communication.
A request for an alternative format absentee ballot must be made to the ADA Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the election. The request must include the voter’s name, residence address, contact information, and preferred type of alternative format ballot. The voter must also submit a valid absentee ballot request form to their county board of elections prior to, or at the same time as, submitting a request for an alternative format ballot under this policy. The ADA Coordinator will coordinate with the county board to ensure that the voter is registered to vote and has submitted a valid absentee request.
Any alternative format provided will be provided in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual with a disability.
Requests for Accessible Format of Other Documents
A request for an alternative format of other documents, including challenge, protest, appeal, and complaint forms, and the instructions for completing such forms, must be made to the ADA Coordinator. The requestor shall provide their name, contact information, document requested, and preferred type of alternative format to the ADA Coordinator. The request shall be made well in advance of any applicable deadline to ensure that there is time to prepare and produce the requested alternative format document.
This complaint process is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"). It shall be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. This complaint process does not apply to employment-related complaints of disability discrimination, which are governed by the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources’ personnel policy.
Any complaint shall be made in writing to the ADA Coordinator and contain the complainant’s name, address, phone number and email address, and information about the alleged discrimination such location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.
The complaint shall be submitted by the complainant as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the ADA Coordinator will contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the ADA Coordinator will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of the State Board and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.
If the response by the ADA Coordinator does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the Executive Director of the State Board.
Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the Executive Director or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the Executive Director or her designee will respond in writing, and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.
All written complaints received by the ADA Coordinator, appeals to the Executive Director or her designee, and responses from these two offices will be retained by the State Board for at least three years.