Advocacy Groups Audited Polling Places For
March 9, 2004
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK--A disability rights group visited polling places during last Tuesday's Democratic primary and found some new and some old barriers to voters with disabilities.
According to a brief story in Friday's Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, board members and staff members of the Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL) visited eight election sites that had problems with access last November. They found barriers at five of those locations.
One polling site had a wheelchair lift, but it didn't work. This was an improvement from November because at that time election inspectors weren't even able to locate the key to find out that it didn't work.
Another site had an elevator to take a voter in a wheelchair up to the polling place. Once there, however, he could not reach the voting machines.
"For an American citizen, this is unacceptable," said Jim Leary, a board member for RCIL, who added that disability rights advocates will continue to monitor voting sites.
"We'll be there for the presidential race," he said.