Voter Assistance

Voting assistance is available at each polling place. Ask an election judge to help you:

  • Read or mark your ballot
  • Obtain a magnifying device or chair
  • Vote at the curb, if you are unable to leave your car
  • Demonstrate the AutoMARK voter assist terminal

Voters with Disabilities
Federal legislation passed by Congress, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), requires that each polling place be equipped with a voter assist terminal for individuals with disabilities. This equipment is designed to provide voters with disabilities the opportunity to vote independently and privately. The State of Minnesota has certified the AutoMARK from Election Systems and Software for use in Minnesota to meet the HAVA requirement.

Voters receive the same optical scan paper ballot whether they will vote using a pen or the AutoMARK ballot marking device. The AutoMARK is a tool -- an "electronic pen" -- to assist the voter in marking the ballot.

The AutoMARK has special features to assist voters with disabilities that make it difficult to mark an optical scan paper ballot (i.e. blind, poor eyesight, unable to hold a pen). When the voter inserts the ballot into the AutoMARK, an electronic version of the ballot appears on the screen.

The screen provides options for reverse contrast, enlargement for easier reading, or for being turned off for privacy if a voter chooses to access the ballot by using earphones and the keypad. The recorded audio description of the ballot can be used in place of or in conjunction with the visual version on the screen. The voter makes selections by the touch screen, the keypad, or alternative adaptive method.

Review and Verify
The AutoMARK ballot marking device provides voters the opportunity to review and verify their selections. Upon the voter's direction, the AutoMARK marks the ovals on the optical scan ballot. The voter then inserts the ballot into the M-100 ballot counter used by all voters in the precinct.

The voting process remains the same for voters who do not need the assistance of the AutoMARK for marking a ballot. Votes are tallied by the ballot counter to produce precinct results.