Accessibility

Federal and state laws require that the election process be accessible to all voters. A Guide to Voting Accessibility (Español) summarizes three types of accessibility: language, polling place and ballot.

A poll worker brochure describes requirements for accessibility for people with disabilities. It covers voter qualification, accessible parking, curbside voting, entrance and paths, polling area, voting booth and polling place etiquette. A video (with captions) called Get Ready to Vote in Kansas teaches voters with disabilities about election law changes, including photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register to vote. The brochure and video were created by the Disability Rights Center and funded by the Kansas Secretary of State.

Language accessibility

If more than 5 percent of a county's voting age citizens include members of a single-language minority group who do not speak or understand English adequately to participate in the electoral process, then alternative language assistance in the form of printed materials and oral language assistance is required. Community outreach and public relations programs are required to notify the public of the assistance available and to identify translators and poll workers.

Printed materials include ballots, voter instructions, voter registration application forms, ballot application forms, voter's rights and responsibilities posters, voter outreach materials, newspaper publications, candidate filing forms, petitions, confirmation notices and notices of disposition.

Oral language assistance includes interpreters at polling places, interpreters in the election office to process voter registration applications and other materials and language assistance at voter registration agencies.

Four counties in Kansas are required to offer alternative language assistance: Finney, Ford, Grant, and Seward. It is optional in other counties.

Polling place accessibility

Polling places are required to be accessible to all voters. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) checklist is used to determine if a polling place is accessible. The checklist provides guidelines for evaluating the physical accessibility of polling places including getting to the polling place, entering the polling place and using the voting area.

Kansas Statues Annotated (KSA) 25-2710 establishes standards of accessibility. Because they are public accommodations, polling places must meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This includes ramps and handrails, voting booths at wheelchair height and doorways wide enough for wheelchairs.

Ballot accessibility

Each polling place is equipped with at least one fully accessible, HAVA-compliant voting machine to allow voters with disabilities to vote independently and secretly.

Once the system has been selected by the county, the county election office must train election board workers on the use of the equipment. It is important to note that a voter with a disability may request assistance with the voter's ballot from whomever they wish.

If you feel your rights have been violated, refer to the administrative complaint procedures for more information.