Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

Dan Tokaji's Blog Links Publications & Working Papers
Equal Vote
Tuesday, November 4
Disability Access Issues
One of the underexamined issues of election administration is the nexus between voting rights and disability rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that polling places be accessible to people with disabilities, while the Help America Vote Act mandates that accessible voting technology be provided at every polling place. But these legal requirements aren't always fully honored.

There have been a handful of stories today on the experience of voters with disabilities, which number some 20 million according to a recent report by Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse of Rutgers. The NY Times blog reports here on confusion regarding the ballot-marking machines being used in N.Y. City to meet HAVA's requirement of one accessible voting machine per polling place. The Arizona Center for Disability Law has reportedly filed a lawsuit regarding one county's decision not to count ballots cast on accessible voting equipment until Tuesday morning. See also this report and this one on reported accessibility problems in Indiana.

For a summary of the requirements of federal voting laws when it comes to people with disabilities, take a look at this this presentation which I put together a while back. DOJ's website has more information here.

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