Voters with Disabilities / 65 Years of Age or Older
Rights & Opportunities
Federal and State law include provisions that make accommodations to voters who have disabilities and certain voters who are at least 65 years of age.
Assistance in Voting at the Voting Place
Under Federal and Pennsylvania law, a voter with a disability that prevents the voter from entering the voting booth or using the election system used by the county, or that prevents the voter from being able to read or understand the ballot and election instructions and explanations, has the right to select a person of the voter's choice (except the voter's employer, an agent of the employer, an officer or agent of the voter's union, and the judge of elections) to enter the voting booth or voting compartment with the voter to assist him in voting. Before doing so, the voter whose registration record does not include notation of the voter's need for assistance will have to complete and sign a form provided by the elections officials at the polling place.
Any registered voter who, because of illness or physical disability, is unable to attend his or her polling place, or to operate the voting system in use at the voter's polling place, is entitled to apply for and vote by Absentee Ballot. Except in the event of unexpected disability or illness, the county Board of Elections must receive an application for absentee ballot no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. The county Board of Elections must receive all completed absentee ballots no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, May 12, 2017 An absentee voter may receive necessary assistance in completing the absentee ballot from a person of the voter's choosing, except the voter's employer, an agent of the employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.
Emergency Alternative Voters
At 8:00 pm on the day of the General Primary, April 26, 2016, is the deadline for an elderly or handicapped voter who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place to apply for an emergency alternative ballot. An emergency alternative ballot may be requested when circumstances arise unexpectedly, including those circumstances when an elderly or handicapped voter learns after the application deadline that he or she has been assigned to an inaccessible polling place. (Voted absentee ballots must be received from these voters no later than 8:00 pm on the day of the Municipal Election, May 16, 2017.)
Assistance for Persons who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired
For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, users may call TTY: (800) 654-5984 or VOICE: (800) 654-5988. They should ask to speak to the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation at (717) 787-5280.