Voting Guide

This is a voting guide for Autistic individuals, and breaks down the voting process into clear steps with supportive information.

Before Voting Day

Register to Vote

What It Means: Signing up so you can vote. You need to do this before you can vote.

How to Do It: You can register online, by mail, or in person. You need some identification, like a driver’s license or a state ID. Find how to register in the Autism Society Election Center.

Understand Who and What You’re Voting For

What It Means: Learn about the people running for office and what they want to do. Also, understand any laws or changes (propositions) you can vote on.

How to Do It: Look for simple summaries online or in voter guides sent by mail. Videos can also be helpful. Look up the candidates running in your state in the Autism Society Election Center.

Decide How You Will Vote


  • In Person: Going to a voting place on voting day.
  • Early Voting: Voting in person but before the official voting day.
  • By Mail: Sending your vote in a special envelope before voting day if your state provides this option.

Preparing to Vote

Practice Voting

What It Means: Trying out voting before you actually do it.

How to Do It: Some places have sample ballots and voting machines you can try. Online simulations are also available.

Plan Your Voting Day

What to Consider:

When to Vote: Morning, afternoon, or evening? Consider when you feel best.

Getting There: How will you get to the voting place? Plan your transport.

Sensory Needs: Voting places can be busy and noisy. Think about what might help you stay calm and focused, like headphones or a fidget gadget.

On Voting Day

What to Bring

Identification: You might need an ID, like a driver’s license.

Your Voting Plan: Bring any notes about who or what you’re voting for.

At the Voting Place

Checking In: You’ll tell someone your name, and they’ll check you’re on the list of voters that registered.

Casting Your Vote: You might use a machine or a paper ballot. If you’re not sure what to do, it’s okay to ask for help

After Voting

Stickers: You often get a sticker that says “I Voted!” It’s a way to show you’ve participated.

Celebrate: Voting is a big deal. Celebrate your contribution to your community!

Tips for a Smooth Voting Experience

Visit the Voting Place Beforehand: If possible, visit the voting location before the day you vote to become familiar with the route and the place.

Use Resources: The Autism Society of America created an online Election Center where you can register to vote, learn about the candidates, and find out where to vote in your community.

Bring a Support Person: If you think you might need assistance or support, check if you can bring someone with you when you vote.

Laws Related to Your Right to Vote

  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): These laws ensure that individuals with disabilities, including autism, have the right to vote and must be provided with necessary accommodations to participate in the voting process. This can include assistance from a person of the voter’s choice (other than the voter’s employer or union), accessible polling places, and voting aids.
  • Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA): HAVA requires that all polling places have at least one accessible voting system for federal elections, allowing people with disabilities to vote privately and independently.
  • Guardianship: In some states, individuals under full guardianship may lose their right to vote if the court specifically removes it. However, the trend is towards preserving the voting rights of individuals under guardianship unless there is clear evidence that they cannot understand the nature and effect of voting.
Mom and son

For more information, see this comprehensive guide developed by several national disability rights organizations. The Arc of the U.S. also has a more detailed voting guide.

Remember, your vote is your voice.

It’s a way to say what’s important to you and help decide who makes big decisions in your community and country.