Report Criticizes Voting Accessibility in New York County

individual using headphones at an accessible voting booth

by Andy Jones
July 5, 2017

Eighty percent of the polling sites last November’s presidential election were inaccessible to people with disabilities in an upstate New York State county, Disability Rights New York alleges in a recently released report. 

“The right to vote is one of the most important rights of all Americans. It is inexcusable that Greene County is still using inaccessible polling locations and voting systems that don’t work,” DRNY Executive Director Timothy A. Clune said in a news release. “If you can’t get in, you can’t vote.”

The advocacy group surveyed 15 sites, six of which DRNY previously surveyed in September 2016 and raised concerns about with County officials.

According to the report, six of the 15 sites lacked accessible parking options. Four of the facilities were too small and otherwise not architecturally designed to accommodate people with wheelchairs and mobility disabilities.

Further, the County generally failed to make available Ballot Marking Devices, for people with visual disabilities. Most poll staff lacked training or otherwise were not familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act voting accessibility requirements.

“Voters with disabilities in Greene County did not have equal access or equal opportunity to vote in the 2016 election,” the report concluded.

The full report can be read here.

Disability Rights Washington and Disability Rights New York are the designated protection and advocacy agencies in Washington and New York, respectively, and are members of the National Disability Rights Network.