United States

Population Statistics


Total Population


Population with a disability

according to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate

Election Dates

30 July 2009

Signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (1983, last amended 2013)

Updated: June 2015

Section 1, subsection (a) states:

Within each State, except as provided in subsection (b), each political subdivision responsible for conducting elections shall assure that all polling places for Federal elections are accessible to handicapped and elderly voters.


Section 1, subsection (b) states:

Subsection (a) shall not apply to a polling place

  • (1) in the case of an emergency, as determined by the chief election officer of the State; or
  • (2) if the chief election officer of the State-
    • (A) determines that all potential polling places have been surveyed and no such accessible place is available, nor is the political subdivision able to make one temporarily accessible, in the area involved; and
    • (B) assures that any handicapped or elderly voter assigned to an inaccessible polling place, upon advance request of such voter (pursuant to procedures established by the chief election officer of the State) -
      • (i) will be assigned to an accessible polling place, or
      • (ii) will be provided with an alternate means for casting a ballot on the day of the election.


Section 2 states:

(a) Each State or political subdivision responsible for registration for Federal elections shall provide a reasonable number of accessible permanent registration facilities.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to any State that has in effect a system that provides an opportunity for each potential voter to register by mail or at the residence of such voter.


Section 3, subsection (a) states:

Each State shall make available registration and voting aids for Federal elections for handicapped and elderly individuals, including

  • (1) instructions, printed in large type, conspicuously displayed at each permanent registration facility and each polling place and
  • (2) information by telecommunications devices for the deaf.


Section 3, subsection (b) states:

No notarization or medical certification shall be required of a handicapped voter with respect to an absentee ballot or an application for such ballot, except that medical certification may be required when the certification establishes eligibility, under State law -

  • (1) to automatically receive an application or a ballot on a continuing basis; or
  • (2) to apply for an absentee ballot after the deadline has passed.

Section 3, subsection (c) states:

The chief election officer of each State shall provide public notice, calculated to reach elderly and handicapped voters, of the availability of aids under this section, assistance under section 1973aa–6 of this title, and the procedures for voting by absentee ballot, not later than general public notice of registration and voting is provided.


Excerpts from the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (1984, last amended 2013)