Access by Voters with Disabilities
Maryland is committed to making voting accessible to all voters. Almost all of Maryland's polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities on election day. All of the early voting centers in Maryland are accessible to voters with disabilities.
Is my polling place accessible?
Use the voter look-up website to find out if your polling place is accessible. If your polling place is not accessible, there will be a list of the reasons why. This may help you decide if the polling place is accessible for you.
If your polling place is not accessible and you want to vote:
- Vote during early voting at an early voting center. You do not have to ask to be assigned to another polling place if you want to vote at an early voting center; or
- Complete the Request for Polling Place Change or Absentee Ballot (PDF) and submit it to your local board of elections. The board of elections will do its best to change your polling place to one that is accessible for you. If your polling place cannot be changed, a local election official will notify you and send you an absentee ballot. The deadline to submit this form for the 2016 Primary Election is Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The deadline to submit this form for the 2016 General Election is Tuesday, October 18, 2016.
By absentee ballot
Request an absentee ballot. Your ballot can be mailed or printed from SBE's website. If you have a disability and cannot mark your ballot independently, we offer an online tool to help you mark your ballot. With this tool, most voters with disabilities can make selections without help. If you would like to use this online tool, request an absentee ballot and check the box saying that you want to print your ballot from SBE's website.
See the Absentee Voting page for more information.
Is accessible voting available?
Yes, a ballot marking device that is accessible to most voters is available in early voting centers and polling places. Using a headset and keypad, blind voters and voters with low vision are able to vote by listening to the ballot selections and by using the keypad. You may also choose to use the high contrast and large print functions of the voting unit. Other assistive devices (for example, sip and puff) can be plugged into the device.
If you want use the audio ballot, ask an election judge. Election judges will answer questions and help you, if needed.
Is there a way I mark my absentee ballot without help?
Yes. If you ask to receive your ballot via SBE's website, you can use an online tool to help you mark your ballot. The tool is compatible with the most common software used by individuals with disabilities, and you can use your own assistive devices with the tool.
If you use this tool, you make your choices on your computer and print your ballot. Your printed ballot will have your choices marked. With this tool, most voters with disabilities can make selections without help.
Can someone help me vote?
Yes. You can bring someone to help you vote as long as that person is not:
- Your employer or an agent of your employer
- An officer or agent of your union
- A challenger or watcher
Or, you may choose to have two election judges help you.
The person helping you must sign the Voter Assistance Form and cannot suggest how you should vote.