Trenton, NJ - Disabled New Jersey voters have multiple options to cast their ballot for the 2023 Primary Election. Voters with accessibility needs can be accommodated at their local polling place and utilize special equipment that enables them to view the ballot on a screen or hear an audio version to help them mark and cast their ballot. A voter who requires assistance to vote at a polling location may also designate the person of their choosing to provide assistance
Voters who cannot vote via a paper ballot without assistance also have an accessible ballot option for the 2023 Primary Election. The State of New Jersey hired Democracy Live to help voters with disabilities to cast their vote privately and independently.
To access this option, a disabled voter should reach out to their County Clerk and indicate that they are unable to complete a paper ballot without assistance and wish to vote using an accessible vote by mail ballot. The County Clerk will work with Democracy Live to deliver a secure electronic ballot to the voter. At the same time, the County Clerk’s office will mail the voter the postage paid ballot return envelope, and a certificate envelope for the voter to seal the ballot in.
The voter will receive an email with a link to a ballot personalized with the applicable local, state, and national contests and any questions based on where they live. From the link provided, the voter can mark the ballot using their own personal assistive technology such as screen readers and screen magnifiers.
When done, the voter prints the ballot, and the completed Certificate of Accessible Ballot Voter. The completed ballot gets sealed in the certificate envelope. If the voter receives assistance, the person providing such assistance must fill out the assistor portion on the certificate envelope. The voter should then seal the completed Certificate of Accessible Ballot Voter and the sealed certificate envelope containing the completed ballot in the postage paid ballot return envelope provided.
Once this process is completed, the ballot can be returned in the same manner as any other mail-in ballot. Ballots need to be postmarked by June 6, 2023.
Similarly, a mail-in ballot voter who is unable to sign or make their mark on the certificate attached to the inner envelope may be accommodated by requesting a “Certificate of Assistor Signing for a Voter with a Disability” from their County Clerk’s Office. The person providing assistance will complete the requested assistor certificate and the assistor portion of the certificate attached to the inner envelope and sign the voter’s name on the inner envelope certificate. The requested assistor certificate should be attached to the certificate on the inner envelope, then the ballot is returned in the same manner as any other mail-in ballot.
According to New Jersey’s Secretary of State Tahesha Way, it is imperative that all New Jersey voters know that they can vote safely and securely.
“Every voter should be able to cast their ballot privately and securely. We appreciate the opportunity to extend this voting option to New Jersey’s disabled voters,” said Secretary Way.
If voters need assistance or have any questions, their local, county, and state election officials are available to help. Voters can reach out to their County Clerk, County Board of Elections, County Superintendent of Elections, or call the state voter information/protection hotline at 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658- 6837). For more information on voting, visit Vote.NJ.Gov.