California’s protection & advocacy system
For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA
or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.
November 2, 2016
Contact: Margaret Johnson, Advocacy Director
Disability Rights California
Troubleshoot problems on November 8 Election Day
(Sacramento, CA – November 2, 2016) Disability Rights California (DRC) will operate a toll-free hotline on Primary Election Day, November 8, for voters with disabilities. The service is designed to help those who have difficulty accessing polling places, casting ballots or simply have questions about voting. The toll-free number for voice calls is 888-569-7955.
About 5.9 million eligible voters in California have one or more disabilities. Their right to vote privately and independently is guaranteed by the Help America Vote Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and state and federal constitutions. “DRC wants to ensure this important voting block has full access on Election Day,” said DRC attorney Fred Nisen. “We welcome calls from across the state and can help voters resolve issues on Election Day, file complaints and address barriers to exercising their voting rights.”
Examples of barriers experienced by voters with disabilities:
- Accessible voting equipment that doesn’t work
- Poll workers not allowing a voter with disabilities to have an assistant help them vote
- Poll workers who can’t meet the needs of voters with disabilities
- No access to ballots for voters living in nursing homes and other residential facilities
- Voters are hospitalized on Election Day and did not request a Vote-by-Mail ballot.
- Polling places with inaccessible parking or steep curb ramps
The hotline will be open between 7 am and 8 pm on Election Day, the same hours the polls are open. Individuals who speak languages other than English should state their language and an interpreter will be connected to the call. Callers using the California Relay Service, including Speech-to-Speech, can dial 711.
DRC has several publications about the rights of voters with disabilities at www.disabilityrightsca.org/pubs/PublicationsVoting.htm.
Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization created by the governor in 1978 to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Check out our website (www.disabilityrightsca.org), Facebook and twitter @DisabilityCA.