Election Resources for Voters with Disabilities in Fairfax County, VA

As the 2020 election approaches, it is important to ensure that all eligible voters have access to the resources they need to exercise their right to vote. This includes individuals with disabilities, who may face unique challenges when it comes to participating in the electoral process. In Fairfax County, VA, there are several resources available to assist voters with disabilities and ensure that their voices are heard.

Understanding Disability Rights and Voting

Before diving into the specific resources available in Fairfax County, it is important to understand the rights of individuals with disabilities when it comes to voting. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) both protect the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in the electoral process. Under the ADA, polling places must be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

This includes providing ramps or other accommodations for those who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments, as well as ensuring that voting machines are accessible for individuals with visual or hearing impairments. HAVA also requires that all polling places have at least one accessible voting machine for individuals with disabilities. These machines typically have features such as audio ballots and large print options to accommodate different needs.

Accessible Voting Options in Fairfax County

Fairfax County has taken steps to ensure that all polling places are accessible for individuals with disabilities. This includes providing ramps, accessible parking spaces, and other accommodations at all polling locations. In addition, all voting machines are equipped with audio and visual features to assist voters with disabilities. For those who are unable to physically visit a polling place, Fairfax County offers an absentee voting option.

This allows individuals with disabilities to vote from the comfort of their own home. Absentee ballots can be requested online or by mail, and can be returned by mail or in person. Another option for individuals with disabilities is curbside voting. This allows voters to remain in their vehicle and have a ballot brought to them by an election officer. Curbside voting is available at all polling places in Fairfax County.

Assistance for Voters with Disabilities

In addition to accessible voting options, Fairfax County also offers assistance for voters with disabilities.

This includes providing sign language interpreters and other accommodations for individuals with hearing impairments. Voters can request these accommodations in advance or on Election Day. For individuals with visual impairments, Fairfax County offers a voter information hotline that provides audio recordings of candidate information and sample ballots. Voters can also request a large print sample ballot or have a trusted individual assist them in marking their ballot.

Resources for Voters with Cognitive Disabilities

Fairfax County also recognizes that individuals with cognitive disabilities may require additional support when it comes to voting. To address this, the county offers a voter assistance program that pairs trained volunteers with voters who need assistance understanding the voting process. In addition, Fairfax County has partnered with the Arc of Northern Virginia to provide resources and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Arc offers voter education and training programs, as well as assistance with voter registration and absentee voting.


Voting is a fundamental right for all eligible citizens, including those with disabilities. In Fairfax County, VA, there are numerous resources available to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to the electoral process. From accessible polling places to absentee voting options, Fairfax County is committed to making sure that every voice is heard on Election Day.

Lenora Mcgee
Lenora Mcgee

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