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Myths About Voting and Voters with Disabilities

Click here to download a print version in PDF of these myths.

MYTH: People with disabilities cannot bring someone with them to help them vote.

If you cannot mark your ballot or if you need assistance because of your disability, you may bring someone with you to help you vote, or you may ask for assistance from precinct election officials. You may ask anyone to help you vote, except for the following people:

  • Your employer
  • An agent of your employer
  • An agent of your union
  • Any candidate whose name appears on the ballot

You may also get help in marking your ballot from precinct election officials from two different political parties. By law, no one who helps you vote can tell you how to mark your ballot or provide information to others about how you voted. (R.C. 3505.24)

MYTH: Absentee ballots do not get counted.

All absentee ballots that are received on-time and meet Ohio's legal requirements will be counted and included in the official election returns.

MYTH: Only designated polling locations are accessible.

In Ohio, all voting locations must be made accessible for people with disabilities. Under state and federal law, voters with disabilities must be given the same opportunity for access and participation as any other voter.

MYTH: People who have a guardian are not allowed to vote.

Having a guardian does not take away a person's right to vote. As long as you have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court, you are qualified to register and vote.

MYTH: Nursing home residents are not allowed to vote.

If a person has a disability and is confined to a public or private institution, the county board of elections can deliver a ballot to them. Two election officials of different political parties will deliver the ballot and return the ballot to the board of elections. Voting with a mail-in absentee ballot is also an option. Contact your local board of elections to receive details regarding their process.

MYTH: Voters need to have a reason to vote absentee by mail or absentee in-person.

In Ohio, voters no longer need a reason to vote absentee. Absentee voting is now an option for all Ohio registered voters. A ballot can be requested by mail or voted in-person at a county board of elections or the designated early voting location.

MYTH: Polling locations do not have accessible voting machines.

The Help America Vote Act requires each polling location to have one voting machine that is accessible for people with disabilities, including non-visual accessibility for the blind and visually-impaired.

MYTH: A driver's license is required to vote.

All voters must bring acceptable identification to the polls in order to verify their identity. Acceptable identification includes a current and valid photo identification; military identification; or a copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document, other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter's name and current address.

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