Bookmark and Share

Voters with Disabilities

It is your right to vote independently and privately. Please call the Santa Cruz County Clerk's office at 831-454-2060 or TDD 711 or email access@votescount.com with questions or suggestions about accessible voting in Santa Cruz County.

At the polling place

To check polling place accessibility, look for the wheelchair symbol on the back cover of your County Voter Information Guide mailed to voters 3 – 4 weeks before an election. If your site is accessible, next to the symbol you will find the word Yes.

In some polling places, temporary thresholds, ramps, signage, cones, and door props, are used to improve access to the facility.

Voting locations must be made accessible for all people, regardless of ability. Under State and Federal law, all voters must be given the same opportunity for access and participation in the voting process.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from receiving unequal treatment within state and local government services, programs, and activities. (ADA, Title II)  This law protects your right to vote by making sure that voters with disabilities have access to:

  • Accessible parking
  • An accessible route to the entrance
  • An accessible entrance
  • An accessible route to the voting area
  • Voting procedures
  • Voting machines

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) protects the right of people with disabilities to vote by making sure that:

  • Voting locations are easy to get to and to use.
  • People who are blind or have problems seeing get the help they need.
  • Voting is private and personal.
  • Each polling location has an accessible voting machine.

County Voter Information Guide

The Santa Cruz County Voter Information Guide is mailed to all registered voters in the county. Information on local and county races and local measures is contained in this guide. The guide is available online and in a downloadable MP3 version.

State Voter Information Guide

The Secretary of State’s Office provides multiple alternative versions of the State Voter Information Guide. Three different audio options are available: cassette, compact disc, or a downloadable MP3 version. A large print guide is also available. These alternative formats are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving copies of either the cassette, compact disc, or large-print version of the State Voter Information Guide, free of charge, please call the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at (916) 657-2166 or visit their website at: http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/en/alt-versions/

For a downloadable audio version of the State Voter Information Guide, please visit: http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/en/audio/

Accessible voting system

The poll worker will ask you if you want to vote using a paper ballot or an electronic touch screen ballot. Each polling place in the county has a touch screen voting unit that is ADA-compliant and has the following features:

  • an audio option that reads the ballot to you
  • a universal plug for a personal assistive device
  • large font (24 points)
  • a choice of English or Spanish

Click here for instructions on how to vote using the touch screen unit.

Voting using the paper ballot

Instructions for marking and casting your paper ballot are posted in each polling place and in each voting booth. If you have any questions about how to mark or cast your ballot, or if you have incorrectly marked a ballot, contact an elections official for instructions.

Click here for instructions on how to vote using a paper ballot.

Assistance at the voting location

If you need assistance, you may bring someone with you to help you vote, or you may ask for assistance from the elections official. 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

You may also get help in marking your ballot from an elections official. If someone helps you vote, they cannot tell you how to mark your ballot or provide information to others about how you voted.

Signing election documents

If you are unable to sign your own name and have no other legal mark, make an "X," if possible, on the signature line.

If you are unable to make an "X," you must indicate in some manner to the person assisting you that you want to sign your name. The person helping you must sign the election form and attest that you indicated that you want to sign the election form.

If you used a signature stamp when you registered to vote, you may use that signature stamp to sign election documents.

Curbside voting

If you are unable to enter the polling place, you may vote on a paper or an electronic ballot from a nearby accessible location, including a car. A poll worker will qualify you to vote and will return the voted ballot to the polling place.

To request curbside voting assistance, you can:

  • call the Elections Department in advance to coordinate a time and place
  • have an assistant make the request inside the polling place

A ride to your polling place

We can arrange to have an accessible van pick you up and take you to the polls to vote. Please call prior to Election Day to make an appointment.

Ballot delivery to your home

We can deliver a ballot to your home and return it to the Elections Department. Please call before Election Day so there will be enough time to provide assistance.

Secretary of State's Web Page for Voters with Disabilities