- Voting at a Vote Center
- Voting by Mail
- Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM)
- Availability of Alternate Text Format
- Signature Stamps
- Accessibility Advisory Committees
It is every voter’s right to cast their ballot independently and privately. The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office provides a number of services to increase access and encourage participation by disabled voters, including the following resources:
- TDD for hearing impaired persons: (707) 565-6888
- State propositions and local measures (including arguments and analyses) in audio format
- Large print versions of State and County Voter Information Guides
- Assistance marking your official ballot; California law permits up to two people of your choice to assist you (cannot be your employer, union representative, or an agent of your employer or union)
- Accessible Voting Devices at each Vote Center
- Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM)
Voting at a Vote Center
Vote Centers are surveyed to ensure they meet accessibility standards. Accessibility standards used in the surveys comply with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).
Each Vote Center has three accessible ballot marking devices.
Sonoma County now uses Dominion’s ImageCast X (ICX) Ballot Marking Device. This device allows any voter to navigate through their entire ballot using features such as:
- Touchscreen Tablet, with options to change the text size and contrast on the tablet
- Audio Tactile Interface Keypad (ATI) with Braille
- Headphones and Audio Instructions
- Privacy Mask, for voters with low vision to ensure their votes are kept private as they use the Audio Instructions
- Ability for a voter to bring in their own Paddle or Sip And Puff assistive device
This machine does not tabulate or count any votes. After the voter confirms their selections on the “Review” screen, the voter must print their ballot selections and place it in the Blue Ballot Bag in order for it to count.
Vote Centers also offer curbside voting. Curbside voting allows you to park and vote without entering the Vote Center. Press the call button outside the Vote Center and elections officials will bring you a ballot, including any other materials you may need, whether you are actually at a curb or in a car. The call button will also have a phone number posted to call a poll worker inside the Vote Center if you are unable to leave your vehicle to press the call button. Call the Registrar of Voters Office at (707) 565-6800 if you need to arrange for curbside voting on Election Day.
If you need assistance, you may bring up to two people with you to a Vote Center to help you vote. Or, you may ask a poll worker or election official to help. The only people who are forbidden from helping you vote are your employer, an agent of your employer, or an agent of your union.
Important: Anyone that helps you vote cannot tell you how to vote or tell others how you voted.
Voting by Mail
All active, registered voters in California are now automatically mailed a ballot for each election in which they are eligible to vote. The ballots go out approximately 29 days before Election Day and can be returned in three main ways
- By mail. In order to count, they must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received in our office within 7 days.
- Drop them off at one of our Official Ballot Drop Boxes. In countywide elections, there are a minimum of 21 such Drop Boxes available. They open approximately 28 days before Election Day and close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Night. To view a list of available Drop Boxes for the current election, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/wheretovote.
- Bring it to any Vote Center. For Vote Center locations and days/hours of operation for the current election, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/wheretovote.
Need to get a replacement ballot? See Requesting a Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot.
Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM)
Voters with disabilities can now vote privately and independently from their own home. Our Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) system allows any voter to mark their ballot using their own tools. Instructions and a ballot return envelope are provided. Voters are required to print their ballot and the return envelope, sign the envelope and mail or drop it off.
To sign up for an RAVBM ballot, complete the request form. To receive a RAVBM ballot for an election, the application must be received no later than 5 p.m., 7 days before the election.
All ballots cast using the RAVBM system are required to be printed, the envelope signed, and returned any of the ways mentioned in the Vote by Mail section.
Availability of Alternate Text Format
If you have a disability and the format of any material on our website interferes with your ability to access information contained on our site, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. To enable us to respond in a manner that will be most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of the accessibility need, your preferred format (audio format, large print, etc.), the requested material, and your full contact information so we can reach you if questions arise while fulfilling your request.
Sonoma County Registrar of Voters
435 Fiscal Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Important: If you are unable to sign your name because of a disability and you own a signature stamp, you may register your stamp at the Registrar of Voters Office so you can use your stamp when you sign your name at a Vote Center or on a Vote by Mail identification envelope. An elections official must witness you use your stamp on a new registration form before your stamp will be valid for voting.
If you have not registered your stamp, you may make a mark and have a witness over age 18 sign near your mark. A Power of Attorney alone is not acceptable.
Accessibility Advisory Committees
Language Accessibility Advisory Committee (LAAC)
The mission of the LAAC is to advise and assist the County Registrar with implementation of federal and state laws relating to access to the electoral process by voters with limited-English proficiency, so that all persons who vote can understand the voting process.
Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC)
The mission of the VAAC is to advise, assist, and provide recommendations on how best to implement federal and state laws regarding access to the electoral process for voters with disabilities, so that all persons who vote have access to the voting process.