Report Accessibility Barriers
The Elections Department strives to provide Vote Centers that are accessible to the elderly and voters with disabilities. If a Vote Center is not accessible, call (877) 777-4017 to report the issue and to receive information on alternative methods of voting.
In-Person Voting – Ballot Marking Device
San Benito County’s electronic voting system with accessible features, including touchscreen and audio, gives voters with disabilities the ability to cast a secret ballot without assistance. The voting system allows enlarging of the font, changing color contrasts, and selecting either English or Spanish.
The ballot marking device is equipped with an audio voting component that allows voters to listen to the ballot and make their choices using the keypad provided.
The keypad includes a “sip and puff” feature as well.
For more information regarding the accessible features of this device, please view this video from The National Federation of the Blind.
In-Person Voting – Assistance from Other People
A voters who is unable to mark a ballot, may bring up to two individuals to assist them in voting. Alternatively, election workers at the Vote Centers are trained to assist voters with disabilities.
For voters who cannot get into the polling place. A poll worker can bring a ballot to you. After you vote, the poll worker will put your voted ballot in the ballot box.
Voters Unable to Sign their Name
If you are unable to sign your name, you can make a mark or use a signature stamp. Your mark should be simple. Many voters use an “X” as their mark.
Instead of an ”X,” you can use a signature stamp. But before you can use a stamp to vote, you must first: (1) register to vote in-person at your county’s Elections Office, using the stamp to sign the voter registration affidavit in the presence of an election official in your county; or (2) register to vote online after you’ve used a signature stamp that the Department of Motor Vehicles has approved and sent to the Secretary of State.
Next to your mark or signature stamp, have a “witness” write your name. Then have the witness write their own name somewhere near the signature line (some return envelopes will already have a “witness” line nearby—if so, use that). Your witness should be 18 years or older. Many voters use a family member or friend as a witness.
For more information, view the Disability Rights California page on this topic, at: https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/publications/you-can-vote-even-if-you-cant-sign-your-name
Authorize Someone Else to Return Ballot
Anybody may return your voted Vote-by-Mail ballot. The envelope must be signed in the specified location, by the voter, and the authorized individual must also sign the envelope in the space provided. Voted ballots are to be returned by any normal Vote-by-Mail return method (in person in our office, in one of our 6 drop boxes, or any of our 4 Vote Centers during operating hours.
Voters Who Experience a Medical Emergency
Disability Rights California has provided information regarding voters who experience a medical emergency.
Voters may request to have a Vote by Mail paper ballot personally delivered to their home at a convenient time by Elections Division staff, who will assist them in marking and returning the ballot.
Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) – Accessible Voting
A Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) system allows voters to mark their selections using their own compatible technology to vote independently and privately in the comfort of their own home. To use a RAVBM system, a voter must:
- Request an RAVBM ballot (see below for how to make the request)
- Log into the provided RAVBM website, which is compatible with screen readers
- Mark their selections electronically on the RAVBM website
- Download their marked ballot and instructions to their own device
- Print their marked ballot and instructions using their own printer
- Sign the ballot return envelope (using the envelope provided with the paper vote-by-mail ballot or the voter’s own envelope)
- Return the RAVBM ballot (in a signed envelope) by mail, by dropping it off at a voting location, or by putting it in an official ballot drop box. The selections cannot be returned electronically.