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Do I need to vote? Information for citizens with disabilities and their families 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Do I need to vote? Information for citizens with disabilities and their families 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do I need to vote? Information for citizens with disabilities and their families 1

2 Consistent with the Commission of Election website, it is the goal of the State of Delaware to provide all citizens with any necessary assistance to make that happen. As such, the State is committed to providing its citizens with the following: Accessible polling places Accessible voting machines Voting by Absentee Ballot Assistance at any point as a means of accommodation 2

3 Registration You may register to vote by: – mail by requesting that the Department of Elections for your County mail an application to you. – Or in person at a State Service Center or the Department of Labor when receiving services or – the Department of Elections for your County. 3

4 Absentee Voting Voters who have temporary or permanent disabilities qualify to cast an Absentee Ballot. – Registered Delaware voters with permanent or temporary physical disabilities do not have to have their Application for an Absentee Ballot notarized. 4

5 Election Day Assistance The State of Delaware provides accessible polling places and voting machines. Voters with special needs can inform the Election Officers at the polls, who are ready to provide assistance upon the voter’s arrival. Voters with special needs may also bring someone with them to help in the voting process. Voters who believe that their polling place is not accessible to them should contact the Department of Elections for their County before the day of the election to make other arrangements to vote. 5

6 Voting Aids For voters who are deaf or hard of hearing, all election materials, announcements and forms are available on this website. (http://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/specialneeds.sh tml )http://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/specialneeds.sh tml You may also use the State’s free TDD relay service to obtain election and voting information. Simply dial “711” and give the operator the toll free help line number for the County from which you are calling: – New Castle County – Kent County – Sussex County – Outside Delaware

7 WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? 7

8 Why does anyone need to vote? Voting is a process used to elect people for offices such as the U.S. President, U.S. Congress, Governor, State and Local Legislators or Officials who make the laws, design programs, and decide how tax dollars are spent 8

9 Why should I vote? Because I care about what happens in Delaware and in the United States. Because I want to make changes in my Community, state, or country. Because I want to keep things from changing: I like the way things are now. Because I want to set an example for all, especially children. Because I want my voice to be heard! 9

10 Who can vote? You must a resident of Delaware You must be a United States Citizen You must be at least 18 years old on or before election day You must be registered to vote 10

11 What if I have a mental health issue? The only person that can take away your right to vote is a court appointed judge. – He or she can determine if you are ‘incapacitated.’ – He or she must specifically write in an order that you cannot vote. – The right can be restored by a judge at anytime. – If you are unsure whether or not a court has decided that you have lost the right to vote, you should contact your attorney or guardian to find out. 11

12 How do I register to vote? In order to register to vote, you must fill out, sign, and submit a voter registration application. Some of the places you can register are: – State service centers while conducting business; – Visit Please be sure you print, sign, and mail your completed application;www.registertovote.elections.delaware.gov – DMV while applying for or updating a driver’s license or state ID; – The Department of Elections office for your County or the Office of the State Election Commissioner ; – Public libraries where computers are available. The registration form asks for your current state issued ID number. If you do not have it, you will be asked for the last 4 digits of your Social Security number 12

13 Next step: receiving a polling place card This tells you where you go to vote. If you don’t receive the card 3 weeks after you register, contact your county department of elections 13

14 What are the deadlines for registering? The Presidential Primary Election – October 13 th, 2012 Last day the Department of Elections is required to mail absentee ballots for the General Election – November 2 nd, 2012 The last time that the Department of Elections can issue an absentee ballot for the General Election -- November 5, 2012 at 12 Noon DEADLINE for voters to return absentee ballots for the General Election to the Department of Elections -- November 6, 2012 at 8 p.m. General Election -- November 8, 2012 – Polls open at 7:00 am 14

15 What are the different ways I can vote? You can go to your local polling place on Election Day – These are specific locations set up for voting. They can be in different locations such as schools, libraries, and churches You can vote by absentee ballot through the mail or in the County Department of Elections. 15

16 It is best to bring identification ID can include: – Valid DE license or state ID – Utility bill – Bank statement – Government check – Pay stub or paycheck – Other government document that shows your name and address If you don’t have ID, you have to sign an affidavit 16

17 Can I get help when I vote? You have the right to ask for assistance! – The poll workers or commissioners will assist you depending on the type of help you need – You can also bring someone with you 17

18 If your polling place is not accessible or refuses to assist you, contact: Disabilities Law Program Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. 100 W. !0 th Street Suite 801 Wilmington, DE (302) ext. 231 State Council for Persons with Disabilities 410 Federal Street Dover, DE (302)

19 Resources The Department of Elections website – ialneeds.shtml ialneeds.shtml Voting in Delaware: A Guide to Citizens with Disabilities (also published by The Department of Elections) 19


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