Ensuring Accessible Voting: Challenges Faced by Disabled Voters

In 2024, as Americans gear up to vote, the accessibility of polling sites is a big worry, especially for those with disabilities. Eli. Underwood brought this issue to light when sharing their experience of trying to vote at a Detroit church in 2022. Underwood, dealing with chronic health issues and Long Covid, faced physical barriers that made them feel left out and powerless.

The Challenge of Access: Church Polling Places

Many polling stations in the US are in churches. But here’s the thing: these places don’t have to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), leaving disabled voters struggling. A 2022 survey found that only about 10 percent of church polling sites in Detroit and its suburbs were fully accessible, shining a spotlight on a big problem.

Legal Rules and Responsibilities

When churches become polling stations, they’re acting like government representatives. So, they should play by ADA rules to make sure everyone can vote. Election officials need to check that these places are accessible beforehand, as experts in disability law insist.

Tackling Accessibility Issues

We need more accessible locations for disabled voters. Quick fixes like ramps and open doors can help during elections. Plus, laws like the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act provide backup for disabled voters facing hurdles.

Ensuring Accessible Voting: Challenges Faced by Disabled Voters

Training and Awareness

Despite rules and guides, not all poll workers know how to help disabled voters. Better training can give them the skills to assist, making voting smoother for everyone.

Welcoming Everyone to the Voting Process

In the future, voting needs to be inclusive. That means listening to disabled folks and ADA experts when choosing polling sites and setting up voting procedures.

Concerns About Proxy Voting

Proxy voting might seem like a solution, but it raises worries about privacy and security. Disabled voters, like Jermaine Greaves, have had to rely on others to vote for them, taking away their right to vote independently.


Making voting accessible isn’t just about following laws; it’s about democracy itself. By breaking down barriers for disabled voters, we can ensure everyone gets a fair shot at having their voice heard. Let’s make accessibility a priority and empower every eligible voter to cast their ballot without any barriers holding them back.

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