Know Your Rights:
Voting During COVID-19 for People with Diabetes
No one should have to choose between their life and their civic duty.
As someone living with diabetes, it is important to make your voice heard by exercising your right to vote—but you shouldn’t have to jeopardize your health or safety to do so. Every state has a duty to protect the millions of Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes, and to run elections that are as safe as possible.
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) has prepared and collected information and resources to help people with diabetes understand and exercise their rights during the 2020 election and beyond, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Voting in your state during the COVID-19 pandemic
The options you have for voting during the pandemic will vary from state to state, and from election to election. We expect many developments will be announced by states as we approach the November presidential election. The following resources are continually updated and should help keep you informed on what your state is doing to keep the election safe for people with diabetes. We recommend that you visit these sites regularly to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about voting in your state:
- Vote.org: Scroll to your state to see the latest COVID-19 updates, including links to voter registration pages, polling places and more.
- VOTE411: Click on your state to see the latest COVID-19 updates, election registration deadlines and helpful explanations on how to vote safely in your state.
Voting safely with diabetes
As someone living with diabetes, you have a right to reasonable accommodations that will enable you to participate in government programs and activities, like voting in an election. Public entities may not discriminate against or exclude anyone with diabetes under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and if you need a reasonable accommodation so that you aren’t excluded, then the law requires that you get it. Reasonable accommodations will vary by state but can include curbside voting or voting by mail. A full list of the safe voting measures the ADA is encouraging states to employ is available in our letter to election officials.
If you feel your polling place is not adhering to safe voting protocols, is not providing reasonable accommodations to people with diabetes or if you have questions or concerns leading up to election day, these resources can help:
- Call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) for assistance in English or 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) for assistance in Spanish
- Call 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or email email@example.com to report problems on election day
The ADA is working to protect your right to vote
We are continually working to protect people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their ability to vote safely.
We are advocating for safe, in-person voting because some voters will need to—or chose to—vote in-person, and they should be able to do so without compromising their health. In a letter circulated in August, the ADA urged election officials across the country to ramp up safe voting procedures. The letter was sent to states that had not yet announced universal mail-in voting or had room to offer even safer voting procedures for the 2020 general election.
The ADA is also advocating for increased vote by mail options for people with diabetes, and has filed several amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs, in federal court cases to defend the rights of people with diabetes to vote without needless exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic:
We will not stop fighting for you—from advocating for affordable insulin and prescription drugs to fighting discrimination wherever we see it. Learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of the millions of Americans living with diabetes and consider becoming an advocate today.