Election Day

Resources compiled by ConnectWC

It is a fundamental right and responsibility of all Americans to vote, even in an 'off' year when there is no presidential race. Elected officials vote on crucial funding, services and supports for people with disabilities. Therefore, it is especially important for people with disabilities, and those who care about them, to educate themselves and get out and vote for candidates who will best support the needs and rights of people with disabilities. ConnectWC is pleased to offer the following excellent resources to support you in being a well-informed voter.

Educate Yourself

In the era of the internet, there is much information readily available. However, the most readily available may not be the most accurate, so take all internet information with a grain of salt. It is the responsibility of each voter to take just a few minutes more to delve a little deeper to find out the facts.

Basic Voting Information

MN Votes is Minnesota’s official voter resource from the Office of the Secretary of State. On the site you can:

  • Find your polling place (by simply putting in your zip code or county)
  • Learn how to register, including what proof of residence options are needed. Unregistered voters may register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time during the in-person absentee voting period, by mail absentee ballot or at their polling place on Election Day. (pre-registration is now closed for the November 4th election)
  • Learn about absentee voting (anyone can utilize this easy option)
  • View sample ballots for your area, and links to candidates websites so you can learn where they stand on issues. (Take your completed sample ballot into the election booth for reference.)
  • Find FAQ and more.

Seek the Facts!

The Arc Minnesota encourages people with disabilities, their families, and those who provide direct support to educate themselves on the candidates’ stances on issues they are concerned about. Here are some questions to keep in mind when you are researching.

The Minnesota Legislature site has a 'Who Represents Me' page to find your current legislators and information about them. Pay attention to the links on the right of the candidate's page. You will find bills they authored, more about their legislative record and other interesting facts about what they are, or are not, doing for you.

Inforum is a voter guide that will help you find out what candidates are running in your area.

If there are still candidates or issues you do not know about, 'google' them. Of course candidate websites will be biased, but you can figure out where they stand on issues.

Law Changes and Voting For Persons with Disabilities

If you are a person with a developmental disability and understand what it means to vote, Federal law guarantees your right to vote. These rights are explained by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Minnesota Disability Law Center’s article in The Access Press shares law changes that help voters with disabilities. The article also discusses voting rights of people under guardianship and offers Election Day hotlines during the hours the polls are open.

If someone has a disability, they have the right to ask for assistance. This includes help in signing in or registering, having a private voting area available for those using a wheelchair, and being allowed to bring someone to the polling place for assistance. (Note: helpers assist the voter but may not influence how the person votes – this is illegal.) Learn more, including information about AutoMark, a device available for voters with disabilities in an article in The Access Press.

You can also find information on voting on the Legislative page on ConnectWC.

Getting to the polls

If you need help, ask for it! If you care for someone who has challenges, offer a ride. Learn about free public transportation and organizations that may provide transportation to the polls. If getting to the voting place is a difficulty for any reason, voting by mail with an absentee ballot is an excellent option.

Funding for The Rides to the Polls Coalition has ended, and they will not be providing rides this year. However, The Access Press offers suggestions on planning ahead and offers other options to get to your polling place.

Eligible voters have the right to learn the facts about candidates, decide who best will represent them, and cast their own ballot. Vote November 4th!!