Imagine what the world would look like if we all voted—imagine what would change and what would be the same. According to the U.S. Election Commission, if people with disabilities voted at the same rate as people without disabilities, there would have been 1.7 million more votes in the 2020 Presidential elections.
Our democracy works best when we all vote so that all types of experiences, concerns and priorities are represented in the halls of power. Sometimes we hear questions from people who aren’t sure if they’re allowed to vote because of their disability. We’re here to answer those questions and make sure you are ready to participate in the May primaries in Nebraska.
“If I have a guardian, conservator or payee, am I allowed to vote?” Yes, you can still vote. Unless the judge held a hearing and specifically told you that you could not vote in the future, you have the right to vote even if someone is managing your affairs.
“If I’ve ever been involuntarily committed, am I allowed to vote?” Yes! Just because you received mental health care in the past under an Emergency Protective Custody order (EPC), you can vote. You can also vote even if you’re currently in a state hospital, group home, nursing home or assisted living facility.
“I have a felony conviction, so did I lose the right to vote?” In Nebraska, anyone with a felony conviction may register to vote again two years after serving your sentence. That means two years off paper, after probation, parole, or your incarceration end.
“If I need someone to help me fill out the ballot, can I still vote?” Yes, you are allowed to have help. A family member, friend, or even a poll worker at the precinct can help you.
“I’ve heard about Voter ID laws and I don’t have any photo ID, so can I vote?” Yes, you can vote. Nebraska does not have a voter ID law.
“I use assistive technology and I’m worried whether the polling place will let me vote.” You can vote in any precinct in Nebraska: every single one will have the Express Vote machine to help you vote. Ask a poll worker for help if you need it. Let us know if you face a barrier to voting because we can help fix it.
Disability Rights Nebraska has been working with election officials across the whole state, helping them understand why polling places and the voting process should be accessible. We know mistakes happen, and if you see something or have an experience you’re concerned about, let us know. Everyone has a voice, and we want to hear your voice loud and clear on election day.
If you know a group of folks with questions about their right to vote, let us know! We are happy to send you written information about your rights, set up a presentation in person, or answer questions on the phone. Find out more about your right to vote on our website. If you want to register to vote or learn about the deadlines for voting this year, visit the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website.
Let’s go vote!
Amy Miller is a staff attorney with Disability Rights Nebraska where she works on a number of issues including voting rights.