Montana’s Statewide Elections have various options for voters with disabilities or voters who need special assistance, including the new Electronic Ballot Request System (EBRS), available for state and federal elections beginning 30 days before election day and through noon the day before election day.
- EBRS – Overview
- EBRS – Voter FAQs
- Large Print Voter Information Pamphlet
- Audio Voter Information Pamphlet
- Braille Voter Information Pamphlet Available on Request
- Every polling place in Montana has at least one specialized voting machine, called an AutoMARK, that enables people with disabilities to vote independently and privately.
- If you cannot enter a polling place, election judges will assist you with “curbside voting.”
- If you have a physical disability or are unable to read or write, you may ask an election judge to help you mark your ballot. Or, you can bring any individual (other than your employer or employer’s agent or union agent) who, with the permission of the election judge, can go into the voting booth with you and help you vote.
- You may also designate an agent to assist you with the voting process on the Designation of Agent by Individual with Disability form. Deliver the signed application to your local election office.
- You may apply for an electronic ballot that can be marked on your personal computer, printed and returned by mail or in person to the election office.
- The Voter Information Pamphlet published by the Secretary of State for each state general election is available in Braille and audio formats.
- Accessible Forms
Contact [email protected] if you have a voting accessibility suggestion or concern.
Accessible Voting Equipment
The Secretary of State’s office and the 56 counties of Montana have teamed up to offer the ES&S AutoMARK™, ballot-marking technology that allows voters with disabilities and other special needs to mark a ballot privately and independently.
The ES&S AutoMARK™ voter assist terminal is a ballot-marking system designed to provide privacy and accessibility to voters who are blind, vision-impaired, or have a disability or condition that would make it difficult or impossible to mark a ballot in the usual way. The technology also provides language assistance to voters who are more comfortable speaking a different language or who need help to better understand written instructions.
AutoMARK Voting Instructions
The following are the steps necessary to vote on the AutoMARK:
- The election judge will take the stub off of your ballot and will place your ballot in a secrecy sleeve. The stub must be removed for the AutoMARK to read the ballot.
- You will then insert the secrecy sleeve into the AutoMARK so the AutoMARK accepts your ballot. The secrecy sleeve will stay in the AutoMARK so that your ballot will remain secret when it is printed out by the machine.You may wish to ask the election judge for headphones, which you can use to hear the computer voice that will read the ballot to you.Also, if you are using the headphones, you can press the diamond-shaped “screen” button at the top right of theAutoMARK to completely darken the screen so that you are certain that no one can see your votes.
- If you are an individual with low or no vision, you can use the keypad that is on the right side of the machine to navigate through your choices. The computer voice will read your choices to you. You can also change the contrast and font size to make the screen easier to read.The keypad has raised buttons in the shape of arrows for ease of use, and also has Braille markings for people who are able to read Braille.
- Make your choices for candidates and ballot issues. After you are done making your choices, the AutoMARK will confirm them to you, allow you to change and confirm them, and will mark and print your ballot so that it comes out into the secrecy sleeve. Putting the ballot back into the machine will allow it to read your ballot and confirm that the machine accurately marked your choices, if you would like for it do so.
- An election judge will take your ballot while it is still in the secrecy sleeve and drop it into the ballot box for counting.