Fact: Americans with disabilities vote at a much lower rate than the rest of the population.
Voting is an important part of being a member of the community:
- Voting helps gain political power and thus more attention paid to the needs of those who have disabilities.
- I f you do not vote it sends the message to other people who do vote and to the politicians they elect that you do not care enough to be heard.
- You must have been declared incompetent before you lose your choices about registering to vote and voting in elections.
Voting is a fundamental civic right protected by state and federal laws:
- Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Voting is an important part of being a member of the community
- • Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”)
Who can Vote in North Carolina?
- Citizens of NC;
- Who have lived in the county/precinct where they want to vote for at least 30 days;
- Who will be 18 years old or older by the next general election;
- Who have not been convicted of a felony and are currently serving sentencing terms.
- Just because you have a disability or are in a medical or psychiatric institution does not automatically mean you lose your voting rights in NC.
What if you have trouble as a person with a disability in voting?
1) Laws protect your right to register and vote
2) Call the Wake County Board of Elections (856-6240) or the State Board of Elections for assistance if you think your rights are being violated
3) Call Disability Rights NC in Raleigh toll free: How do I contact Disability Rights NC?
For Intake regarding a problem, call toll-free 1-800-821-6922 (Voice) 1-888-268-5535 (TDD) or 919-856-2195 for local Raleigh calls.
• 4) You may always vote a provisional or contested ballot—ask the Precinct Judge for assistance
• 5) North Carolina does not require a picture ID or Driver’s license for voting
Mental Competency Laws and NC Voting requirements:
• No constitutional prohibitions about mental competency and voting
• The Voting Rights Act prohibits a literacy requirement
• In Dunn v. Blumstein, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a requirement of “intelligent voting”
• Studies in other states that disenfranchise people because of competency used mock elections to show that the choices of such people closely resemble elections results for their area.
For more information please contact Steve Noblitt of Disability Rights NC, who provided this information to echoflam.com.