Accessible Voting: Know Your Rights!

You have the right to vote privately and independently.
In this informative video presentation, the ADA Coordinator from the New York City Board of Elections guides you through the accessibility features available to make your voting experience more inclusive and efficient.

Assistance at The Poll Site

  • A bipartisan team of poll workers is available to help you complete your ballot.
  • You have the right to have someone you trust help you mark your ballot, but that person may not be your employer, union representative, poll watcher, or a candidate on the ballot. This person must swear to and sign an “Assistance Oath.”
  • If you make an error on your ballot, you may return the ballot to the poll worker. They will void it and give you a new one. You have the right to receive up to three ballots at the poll site. If you require additional ballot(s), you may see a judge for a court order.

Ballot Marking Devices

  • Every poll site in New York City has at least one Ballot Marking Device (BMD). The BMD used in New York City is the ES&S AutoMark.
  • Anyone has the right to use the BMD — you do not have to have a disability.
  • If you request an absentee ballot, you will not be permitted to vote on a scannable ballot at your poll site. You will be issued an affidavit ballot, which will only be counted if your absentee ballot was not yet received by the Board of Elections.
  • The BMD can mark affidavit ballots.
  • If your ballot is damaged by the BMD, you have the right to a new ballot (BMD-damaged ballots do not count towards the three ballots described above.)
  • The BMD provides two ways for voters to access the ballot:
    1. See the ballot on the display screen.
    2. Listen to the ballot through audio headphones.
  • The BMD provides four ways for voters to mark the ballot:
    1. Touch screen
    2. Key Pad with Braille
    3. Sip & Puff Device
    4. Rocker Paddle
Reasons to Use the BMD How the BMD Helps
Voter wants to see a ballot with larger typeThe ballot shows on the screen in larger font
Voter is unable to mark ballot with a penChoices can be made using either the touchscreen or keypad
Voter wants to see/hear the ballot in a different languageThe BMD displays and/or reads the ballot in all languages mandated for the Poll Site
Voter has visual disabilitiesHeadphones allow voter to listen to the ballot and mark it using a keypad
Voter has mobility disabilitiesAccessories such as Sip & Puff and Rocker Paddle assist in marking the ballot

Voting from Home

  • Voters who are unable to go to their poll site on Election Day may apply for an absentee ballot to vote at home. To apply for a standard paper absentee ballot to be mailed to you, visit
  • Voters who are unable to mark a paper absentee ballot with a pen, may apply for an accessible absentee ballot. Eligible voters with disabilities who request an accessible absentee ballot can use their personal adaptive technology to mark and print their absentee ballot from their home. To apply for an accessible electronic absentee ballot to be emailed to you, visit
  • Voters who are permanently disabled and will never be able to vote at a poll site are able to apply for a “permanent absentee.” These voters will automatically receive a ballot for every election in which they are eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is my poll site?

Am I registered to Vote?

How do I register to vote?

For more information about accessibility and elections, visit the New York City Board of Elections site at

For more information about the Ballot Marking Device, visit

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