Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

People with Developmental Disabilities
Have the Right to Vote!

PDF Version of this News Item

Everyone wants to vote, including voters with mental disabilities. If you are a voter with a developmental disability, you should know your rights. Knowing your rights will help make sure you can vote. Print this item and take it with you when you go to vote so that you know what your rights are.

You can also show this to others if you run into any problems. This paper tells lawyers and poll workers where to find the laws that protect your right to vote!

You do have the right to vote!

  • If you are a person with a developmental disability and understand what it means to vote, Federal law guarantees your right to vote.

The law that gives you that right: The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132; Doe v. Rowe, 156 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.Me.2001).

You can vote if you are under guardianship!

  1. If you are under guardianship, you are still eligible to vote UNLESS a court order revokes that right.

The law that gives you that right:  Minnesota Statute § 201.014, subd. 2

You have the right to get help from a person YOU choose

  • If you can't read or need help voting because of your disability, you can have someone help you vote.
  • You can bring a friend, family member or someone else you trust. 
  • You can also ask the election judge to help you if you didn't bring anyone with you.

The law that gives you that right:  The Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§1973aa-6; The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132; Minnesota Statute §204C.15, subd. 1

If you have a problem, you can get help by calling 1-866-OUR-VOTE

  • Lawyers are available to give voters with disabilities and other voters advice and help with voting problems, so call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

You have the right to vote even if you have been challenged!

  • If you are truly eligible, you MUST be allowed to vote. 
  • You may be asked questions about your eligibility, but as long as you answer truthfully and give answers that indicate you are eligible, the election judge has to give you an oath to swear that you are eligible.
  • If the you swear to tell the truth, answer the questions and sign the roster, the election judge must allow you to vote.

The law that gives you that right:  Minnesota Statute §204C.12


©2024 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Administration Building   50 Sherburne Avenue   Room G10
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
Phone: 651-296-4018   Toll-free number: 877-348-0505   MN Relay Service: 800-627-3529 OR 711
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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2301MNSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

This website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,120,136.00 with 83 percent funded by ACL/HHS and $222,000.00 and 17 percent funded by non-federal-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.