Videos and Webinars
How to Vote With A Disability In Illinois by Strategy for Access Foundation
Welcome to www.disabilityvoteil.org! We are weeks away from the election, and Illinoisians are getting ready to cast their votes. As people with disabilities, we have always had difficulties with accessible voting.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much more significant concerns on the safety and security of us completing our constitutional right to vote.
This year’s election is unique, and there is increased confusion over the election process. That is why we have established a central point for disabled voters of Illinois, which is needed now more than ever. The central site is www.disabilityvoteil.org.
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Welcome to www.disabilityvoteil.org! We are weeks away from the election, and Americans around the country are getting ready to cast their votes. As people with disabilities, we have always had difficulties with accessible voting.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much greater concerns on the safety and security of us completing our constitutional right to vote.
This year’s election is unique and there is increased confusion over the election process. That is why we have established a central point for disabled voters of Illinois, which is needed now more than ever. The central site is www.disabilityvoteil.org.
A transcript of this video is provided on our site at disabilityvoteil.org.
Hi, my name is Vanessa Harris, founder of Strategy for Access Foundation.
Today, I am going to share with you some very important information on how to get your ballot cast. We all deserve to have our unique perspectives heard, and we want to make sure that disabled voices are not silenced. Our votes matter!
The most important things to do are
- to make sure you are registered to vote, and
- make sure that your ballot is cast in a timely manner!
The first step when going to vote is to make sure that you are properly registered. To find out if you are currently registered, visit the Illinois Online Voter Registration Application Website at www.ova.elections.il.gov.
Once there, you can enter your information and find out if you are officially registered.
If you are not registered, have recently moved, or have changed your name, you will need to register to vote.
You can register three ways:
- online on ova.elections.il.gov.
- in person at your local election authority,
- by mail through printing an application and sending it to your local office,
To find out how to contact your local election office, check our website at www.disabilityvoteil.org.
Registration for the election will close in mid-June, but there are still ways to register after that through Grace Period Registration. This form of registration requires you to visit a polling place in person. This also means that you can vote on the same day. Be aware that you will need to bring two forms of ID confirming your identity for this option.
Once you are certain that you are registered, there are a few different ways to complete your vote.
- You can request a mail-in ballot through your county’s election office, which will be mailed to you to be completed before election day. It is highly recommended that you fill out and send in your ballot as soon as you can, so as not to risk your ballot not arriving on time. Requesting these ballots can be done online, or through the mail as well.
- Voting in person can also be accomplished, both the day of the election and up to a month before during the early voting period.
If you plan to go to the polls in person, it is critically important that you adhere to CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Wear your mask, stay six feet away from others as much as possible, and thoroughly cleanse your hands after touching public spaces. We need to protect each other to the best of our ability, and if voting in person is the easiest for you, please be aware of safety protocols.
According to the Helping Americans Vote Act, polling places are required by law to be equipped with accessible voting stations for the disabled. These voting stations allow for blind and visually impaired voters to cast their ballot independently, as well being designed for voters with mobility issues. In addition to accessible machines, voters can also have help from a friend or an election official to complete their vote.
If you are voting in person, you may want to confirm with your local election office well in advance of the day you plan to vote to make sure that they are in fact able to provide these services and to avoid any surprises on the day. You can do this by calling them or visiting their website in advance. To find out how to contact your local election office, check our website at www.disabilityvoteil.org.
I hope this has given you some good information on the complicated process that is voting. A coalition of nonprofit and non-partisan organizations who are part of the disability community are bringing you this information.
If you would like more information on specific instructions for your county, or if you have questions that remain unanswered, please go to our website at www.disabilityvoteil.org, where you will be able to find many more resources on voting in the 2020 general election.
We cannot let anything prevent us from participating in our own democracy. Stay safe everyone and thanks for watching.
Our votes matter!
ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS—ACCESSIBLE VOTE BY MAIL (AVBM)
ACCESSIBLE VOTE BY MAIL (AVBM) FOR THE BLIND AND LOW VISION VOTERS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ILLINOIS GENERAL 2020 ELECTION.
You can watch a demonstration of the AVBM platform here.
How to Vote by Mail—Chicago Elections Board
This video provides information on the Chicago Vote By Mail program: THE WAY TO MAKE YOUR HOME YOUR POLLING PLACE.
There is a Q&A at the end of the video that provides an option if a voter makes a mistake on the Vote By Mail ballot. There is also information on how Vote By Mail voters in Chicago will have the option to use the US Mail — or deliver the signed and sealed Ballot Return Envelopes directly at the Secured Drop Boxes at any Early Voting site in the city, all open through Nov. 3.
Learn more at https://chicagoelections.gov/en/drop-boxes.html
SELF ADVOCATES BECOMING EMPOWERED (SABE) GOVOTER PROJECT
Here is a Captioned Public Service Announcement Put Together by SABE Govoter Project.
In 2000, SABE discovered that people with disabilities were not exercising their right to vote and wanted to allow everyone to vote. To address this need, the GoVoter project was established.
Sign up to get updates on important information, dates, and activities for Illinois' disability voting community!
Download our templates to share why voting matters to you using #DisabilityVoteIL
Our Votes Matter!
Strategy for Access Foundation NFP is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in disability issues. We offer the disabilityvoteil.org website as a community resource for all within the community. If you would like to support the continuation of this work please consider making a donation.