It is your right to vote privately and independently. Please call the Election Department in the Clerk’s Office at 734-467-3187 with questions or suggestions about accessible voting in the city of Westland.
The United States Constitution guarantees every U.S. citizen age 18 or older the right to vote. Our state constitution further defines the right to vote by also requiring voters to be residents of Michigan and registered to vote in their city or township of residence.
Voters with disabilities can also visit the Westland clerk’s office to request an absent voter ballot in person. Voters are advised to contact the clerk’s office in advance to verify that the office will be open, as some offices continue to have limited in-person hours due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
All voters, including voters with disabilities, also have the right to vote in person at polling places. Other than city or township residency, citizenship, and age requirements, state and federal laws do not place any other restrictions on the right to vote. Voters who appear to vote in person will be asked to show photo ID. If voters do not have ID, they can sign an affidavit and vote a regular ballot.
Vote by Mail – Accessible Ballots
Voters with disabilities have the right to vote at home or in person. New for 2020, blind voters and others with severe disabilities that prevent them from voting absent voter ballots privately and independently can apply for an accessible absent voter ballot. The accessible ballot allows voters to mark the documents on an electronic device, using their own assistive technology, without visiting a polling place or clerk’s office. Voters with print disabilities may apply for an accessible electronic absent voter ballot that can be completed electronically, printed, and returned to the local clerk. Apply online for an accessible electronic absent voter ballot.
Accessible Voting Machines
Inside the polling location, at least one voting station should be adapted to allow a person to vote while seated. In addition, all voters, including voters with disabilities, have access to a Voter Assist Terminal in all polling places. The Voter Assist Terminal helps the voter mark a ballot. It will mark the ballot with the voter’s choices but does not tally the votes. Once the ballot is marked, it is counted in exactly the same fashion as all other ballots.
Voter Assist Terminals are made by one of three different election vendors. You can find out which election vendor your county uses on our website. Guides to the Voter Assist Terminals for each vendor are available at these links: The Dominion system is available on this page. The ES&S system is available at on this page. Hart is available on this page. You can learn more about this equipment by visiting the Voting Equipment webpage, or by visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center website.
Voters with disabilities who require assistance in casting a ballot may receive assistance from another person, provided that the person assisting the voter is not the voter’s employer, agent of that employer or an officer or agent of a union to which the voter belongs.
If you or someone you know requires special access to the polls, it is important to call the clerk’s office ahead of time to make sure your voting site is free of obstructions. If your precinct is not accessible, you will be directed to an alternative site that is accessible. For more information, contact your local clerk. Hearing impaired residents with questions may contact the Department of State’s Bureau of Elections by email at MDOS-ADAVoting@Michigan.gov.
The Rights of Voters with Disabilities
- Consent decree – Powell v. Benson case, May 19, 2020
- Order regarding implementation of the consent decree – Powell v. Benson case, July 13, 2020
- Summary of consent decree in Powell v. Benson case
- The Bureau of Elections now has an Ombudsperson for Accessible Elections to respond to and assist individuals with disabilities attempting to vote. To speak with the Ombudsperson for Accessible Elections, call 517-335-2730 or email MDOS-ADAVoting@Michigan.gov.