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DRTx October 2020 Newsletter
It's Election Time
It's hard to believe that early voting started yesterday in Texas. Are you prepared for the election? Even if you aren't, we can help you get ready. This month's newsletter includes resources that will help you understand all the things you need to know about your rights and ways to get out and vote. 

Our staff works year-round to educate people with disabilities about their voting rights, survey polling places for accessibility, train election officials and poll workers about voter rights, and fight discriminatory practices with legal action.

We do all of this to make sure you are able to register to vote, access polling places, cast a private, independent ballot, and file a complaint if you are excluded from any part of the voting process.

If you are a person with a disability having problems with any part of the voting process, please call our Voting Rights Hotline for help: 1-888-796-VOTE (8683).
Important Dates
Due to the pandemic, there are changes in election deadlines that you need to know:
  • Early Voting: October 13 - 30, 2020

  • Application for Ballot-By-Mail Deadline: October 23, 2020

  • Ballot By Mail Return Date: November 3, 2020 by 7:00 pm
  • Election Day: November 3, 2020
Your Disability Voting Rights
You have the right to vote whether you have a disability or not, as long as you are registered to vote in Texas. Some of your specific disability rights include accessibility, interpreters, and alternative voting options. Learn more in our Voting Rights of People with Disabilities handout.

Accommodations for Voters with Disabilities
Voters with disabilities may need additional assistance or other options to cast their ballot. These accommodations include things like curbside voting, voting by mail (deadline to apply is October 23), a sign language interpreter, use of special voting devices for those with visual disabilities, and more. See our Voting Accommodations handout for information on all of your options. 
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The ID You Need to Vote
To vote in Texas, most voters need to provide a form of government issued ID. But there are several types of ID you can use other than your driver's license. Our Voter ID in Texas handout lists options plus alternatives for voters with a disability who do not have an ID. 
Voting During a Pandemic
Some people with underlying health conditions who are concerned about their risk of exposure to coronavirus at the polls may be eligible to vote by mail. Also, some items that were slated for the March election are now on the November ballot. And some dates for voting deadlines have changed. Our COVID-19 Questions about Voting handout has information that can help.
Election Worker Resources
Our voting rights team assists election officials with conducting an accessibility audit of polling sites and providing training to polling site workers on disability voting rights. 

For technical assistance about your polling site's accessibity in the current election, or in preparation for future elections, call our Voting Rights Hotline at 1-888-796-VOTE (8683) to talk to our staff or schedule a training or site audit. 

The following resources are available on our website to help you ensure your polling site is fully accessible during early voting and on election day:
Recent Legal Action
The DRTx voting rights team is working tirelessly to take legal action so we can ensure that the election process is accessible to people with disabilities. 

Our recent work includes a year-long investigation and report release on inaccessibe election websites, a federal complaint filed against 80 counties, and two "friend of the court" legal briefs in support of lawsuits challenging a recent governor's order. Our latest staff blog has all the details.
Need Help?

If you are a Texan with a disability who believes any of your disability rights have been violated, please call us at:
  • Statewide Intake Line: 1-800-252-9108 
  • Sign Language Video Intake Line at 1-866-362-2851
  • Purple 2 Video Phone Line: 512-271-9391
Intake hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Also closed on major holidays.

Online Intake Available 24/7
Can't call during our regular intake hours or can't get through due to high call volume? You can click here to complete our online intake form 
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

DRTX Quick Links:
Our Website: 
Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit www.DRTx.org for more information.