Behind the scenes: accessibility at the polls
Madison Matijevich | Independent Living Consultant
Was the polling place inaccessible for you when you went to vote on February 21st? Did you request assistance and not have your accessibility needs met?
Midstate Independent Living Choices works with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to conduct polling site accessibility assessments during the Election Day. This is in an effort to increase polling site accessibility to guarantee voters with disabilities can actually access the polls and have an accessible way to vote. The county that is chosen to be assessed is based on how long ago the last assessment was completed and if any voters filed accessibility concerns for specific places. Filing these concerns is incredibly important because it alerts the WEC to reach out to the county clerk and make sure the next election is accessible for voters with disabilities.
Some examples of accessibility concerns could be:
- the only way to access the polling place is an entrance with 3 steps
- you requested curbside voting ahead of time but was not allowed to vote this way
- you requested to use the accessible voting equipment but no one knew how to actually use it and you ended up not voting
These examples are a few of many accessibility issues that voters with disabilities can face when accessing the polls. If you or someone you know has experienced an accessibility issue when accessing the polls and would like to report it to the WEC to lead to resolution please go to https://elections.wi.gov/form/report-an-accessibility-concern and file a concern form.
If you’d like to request assistance with completing this form, reach out to us at 715-344-4210. Remember your vote matters and voters with disabilities have a right to vote!