Every poll site in the state is required to have at least one accessible and operational accessible voting system on election day and during all early voting. As a voter with a disability, I have the right to:
- A full and equal opportunity to vote;
- Vote privately and independently;
- Utilize accessible poll sites, voter registration systems, vote-by-mail balloting & other ballot casting devices; and
- Receive assistance from a person of my own choosing (other than my employer or a union representative) when I cast my ballot;
These rights are protected by the following federal laws as well as related state law:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
- The Voting Rights Act of 1965;
- The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984; and
- The National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
Restoring Your Right to Vote
There are only two ways you can lose your right to vote under Florida law:
- A judge removes your right to vote in a judicial order (as in some guardianships); or
- A court has convicted you of a felony and suspended your civil rights.
Only a court can take away your right to vote. No one else can tell you that you cannot vote – not a guardian or guardian advocate, not an election official, not a caregiver nor family member has the legal authority to prevent you from voting. If you need assistance protecting your right to vote, contact Disability Rights Florida to request assistance.
A judge can take away your right to vote if the judge finds that you are incapacitated with respect to voting. If you have been found to be incapacitated but believe your rights – including your right to vote – should be restored, contact Disability Rights Florida to request assistance.
Felony Criminal Conviction
In Florida, a person who has been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have been suspended may not vote unless the right to vote has been restored.
- If convicted of most other felonies, voting rights are restored upon completion of ‘all terms of a sentence including parole or probation’. To determine if you have completed all the terms of your sentence (including parole or probation), contact the Florida Department of Corrections and/or the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction(s) in which you were convicted. That could be a state circuit court, a court in another state, or a federal court. For additional information or assistance, please contact the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.