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Voting Rights

If you believe you or someone else has experienced a civil rights violation, please tell us what happened.

Report federal voting rights violations to the Civil Rights Division

Voting Rights Guides

The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division enforces the civil provisions of the federal laws that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act and the Civil Rights Acts.

Discusses the laws prohibiting voter intimidation, threats and coercion, as well as voter interference, in the electoral process and advises how to report such violations.

Describes the language assistance required by Section 203 to enable certain people with limited English proficiency to participate effectively in all phases of the electoral process. 

Describes the requirements and protections under Section 2 of the VRA governing redistricting plans and other methods of election such as at-large election systems.

Sets forth the legal limitations on post-election audits under the federal election record and preservation requirements of the Civil Rights Act and the anti-intimidation provisions of the federal voting rights laws.

Discusses federal laws that govern how citizens cast their ballots, federal laws on voting by mail and absentee ballots, and federal laws relating to voting in person, including early voting. 

Describes the Civil Rights Division’s monitoring of election-day activities around the country, using Justice Department personnel or federal observers, and how to request such monitoring.

Provides information enabling citizens with a criminal conviction to understand their eligibility to vote.

Provides information to state and local officials as well as the general public concerning the NVRA and its interaction with the other statutes enforced by the Department.

Discusses the requirements of UOCAVA protecting the rights of members of the uniformed service and their families, and U.S. citizens residing overseas, to register and vote absentee in elections for Federal office.

Discusses the minimum standards created by HAVA for states to follow in several key areas of election administration.

Provides information about several federal laws affecting voting rights and explains how members of the public can report possible violations of those laws to the Justice Department.

For additional information on voting rights, visit the Civil Rights Division's Voting Section website.

Access for People with Disabilities

The Justice Department has created and compiled the following resources to ensure that voters with diverse abilities have an equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote. 

Details the legal protections available under the ADA and other federal laws to allow equal access to every aspect of elections, including registration and voting, for people with disabilities.

Provides a survey to guide election officials in evaluating accessibility of ballot drop boxes and is a companion to the ADA Checklist for Polling Places.

Discusses polling place accessibility, focusing on the areas of a facility that may be used on Election Day and listing the tools election officials will need in order to use the Checklist.

Discusses physical barriers to access to voters with disabilities in five areas at polling places and offers solutions to address them.

Explains how to file an ADA complaint if you believe that you or someone else has been discriminated against based on a disability while registering to vote or voting.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) within the Department of Commerce is evaluating the steps needed to ensure that the online Federal Voter Registration Form is accessible to people with disabilities. NIST—in consultation with the Department of Justice, the Election Assistance Commission, and other agencies—is also analyzing barriers to private and independent voting for people with disabilities, including access to voter registration, voting technology, voting by mail, polling locations, and poll worker training. 

The National Disability Rights Network is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). The P&A/CAP network provides legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States, including in the area of voting rights. There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region.

Ensuring Access to Voter Registration for Eligible Individuals in Federal Custody

The Department is working to ensure that citizens in federal custody or preparing for reentry into the community understand, and can exercise, the voting rights provided by state law. The Bureau of Prisons has developed a lesson plan for its Institution Admission and Orientation program, as well as an infographic posted throughout all BOP facilities, to educate new arrivals about their voting rights while incarcerated. It is also implementing policies and procedures to facilitate voter registration and voting for incarcerated individuals who remain eligible to vote, including procedures to protect and return mail-in ballots and to assist incarcerated individuals with disabilities. In addition, the Bureau has added to its Release Orientation Program a new module on voting rights, and it is working to develop a resource that provides details on state-specific information on voting restrictions as well as restoration-of-rights opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals.

View BOP Lesson Plan on Voting Rights for Incarcerated Individuals

District Election Officers

U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the country designate Assistant U.S. Attorneys who serve as District Election Officers (DEOs) in their respective districts. DEOs are responsible for overseeing potential election-crime matters in their districts, and for coordinating with the department’s election-crime experts in Washington, D.C. To speak with your DEO, contact your local U.S. Attorney’s Office.

If you believe you or someone else has experienced a civil rights violation, please tell us what happened. 

Report federal voting rights violations to the Civil Rights Division

Updated April 18, 2024