The Justice Department today reached a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Coconino County, Arizona, to make the County’s polling places accessible to individuals with mobility and vision impairments.
The Department’s survey identified architectural barriers at County polling places, including inaccessible parking, ramps that were too steep, and doors that were too narrow. Under the ADA, counties that conduct local, state, or federal elections may not select polling places that are inaccessible during elections to individuals with disabilities. Coconino County is the Country’s second largest county, covering more than 18,000 square miles, and is also home to the Grand Canyon. The County includes parts of the Navajo, Hualapai, Hopi, Havasupai, and Kaibab Indian reservations, and more than one dozen County polling places are located on Indian reservations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Coconino County will start remediating polling places in time for its next election and will ensure that all of its polling places are accessible during elections to people with disabilities by no later than the November 2020 election. To make polling places accessible, the County will employ temporary measures such as portable ramps, signage, and propped open doors, and permanent changes such as paved parking. In addition, the County will train its poll workers on ADA requirements and on how to use temporary measures to ensure each polling place is accessible during elections. Furthermore, the County will survey polling locations for accessibility and maintain the accessibility of each polling place. When selecting future polling places, the agreement requires the County to select locations that will be accessible during elections. The Department will monitor the County’s compliance with the agreement and provide the County with technical assistance as appropriate.
“Through this settlement, Coconino County will ensure that its polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities, including those living in Indian Country, so that they have an equal opportunity to participate in elections,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore for the Civil Rights Division. “We applaud the County’s commitment to guaranteeing equal access to the polls.”
This settlement is part of the Department’s ADA Voting Initiative, which focuses on protecting the voting rights of individuals with disabilities. A hallmark of the ADA Voting Initiative is its collaboration with jurisdictions to increase accessibility at polling places. Through this Initiative, the Department has surveyed more than 1,500 polling places and increased polling place accessibility in more than 35 jurisdictions, including Chicago; Richland County, South Carolina; and Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
For more information about the ADA and today’s agreement, please visit http://www.ada.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).
Official news published at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-reaches-agreement-coconino-county-arizona-ensure-accessible-voting