This article ran in Fall 2021. Check the Hamilton County Board of Elections website for the latest information.
By Diana Mairose
Voting is an important way you can take part in your community. We need people with disabilities to have their voices heard! Your vote does count, and voting allows you to be independent while making choices that concern your life.
While 2021 doesn’t have big elections like the president, there are many local races where you can help decide the future of your community. Races for city councils, the mayor, and local issues will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The Hamilton County Board of Elections works hard to make sure voting equipment is accessible for people with disabilities. “During the selection process in 2018, members of the disability community came to the Board offices and tested out the various equipment,” said Sherry Poland, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections.
“Everyone provided valuable feedback to the Board staff and the accessible voting equipment was first used in 2019.”
If you want to practice voting before Election Day, the Board of Elections has demonstration machines you can use during regular business hours. If you don’t want to vote in person, you can also vote by mail with an absentee ballot.
“Voters with disabilities have several options,” Poland said. “They could have a friend or family member assist them or they could choose to use a remote ballot marking system, in which the Board emails the ballot to the voter.”
A lot of work goes into making sure we have accessible voting options, including mandatory training for all poll workers, and accessibility reviews of locations in Hamilton County. Voting is your right and a meaningful way to participate in democracy.
- You can vote if you are registered and at least 18 years old by Election Day.
- If you have a guardian, you may still vote. You can ask your guardian or family member to support you when you vote, either at the polls or at home.
- If you vote in person, you must have an ID or document with your name and current address listed, such as a bank statement, paycheck or utility bill.
- If transportation is difficult, you can vote at home using an absentee ballot. You can then mail your ballot back to the Board of Elections or drop it off in person.
Visit VoteHamiltonCountyOhio.gov or by calling (513) 632-7039 to learn more. You can also contact Diana Mairose with voting questions at (513) 559-6636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.