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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Voter Assistance at the Polls

Who Can and Cannot Provide Help
In the polling place you have a right to get help from election judges or any person you choose, except an agent of your employer, your union or a candidate.

Device to Help You Mark Your Ballot
Any voter can choose to mark their ballot using the AutoMARK. This device can display the ballot in large print or with a high-contrast background; it can read the ballot to you through headphones; and it allows you to select candidates through a Braille keypad, touchscreen or sip-and-puff device. It provides privacy and independence to you if you cannot, or choose not, to vote using a pen.

Ballot-marking devices must be present in every polling place so that all individuals have the same opportunity for access and participation. There is an exemption for townships with fewer than 500 registered voters that are holding stand-alone township elections.

Curbside Voting (if you cannot leave your vehicle)
If you cannot easily leave your vehicle to enter the polling place, an election judge will bring out a ballot to your car. Two election judges from different parties will bring you voting materials.

Rules for Those Marking a Ballot for You
People who go with you into the voting booth to help you mark your ballot must follow certain laws.

  • Assistants cannot try to influence how you vote or share how you voted with others.
  • Assistants cannot mark your ballot if you are unable to communicate your choices.
  • An assistant can only physically mark ballots on behalf of a maximum of three voters each election. They may provide other forms of assistance to an unlimited number of voters.
  • If someone marks a ballot on your behalf, you may show it privately to an election judge to confirm that it is correctly marked.
  • If you ask election judges for assistance in marking your ballot, two election judges from different major political parties must help.

Individuals or organizations that want to provide assistance to voters may consider creating safeguards to avoid any appearance of wrongdoing. This could include having two individuals provide assistance to voters together.

Watch Video on Voter Assistance at the Polls
Watch an introduction to voting video series that demonstrate the use of accessible voting equipment such as the AutoMark, and what Minnesotans, including voters with disabilities, can expect on Election Day. The series is accessible through American Sign Language (ASL), captions and voiceovers. Text and Microsoft Word transcripts of audio content with video descriptions are also included.

Last updated: 7/11/2014 10:52:11 AM