January 12, 2021
The Department of Justice today reached a settlement under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis, to ensure that St. Louis polling places are accessible during elections to individuals with mobility and vision impairments. The Department reviewed the St. Louis Board’s voting program for compliance with the ADA. The Department identified architectural barriers at St. Louis polling places, including inaccessible parking, ramps that were too steep, stairs at the only entrance or route to the voting area, and doorways with thresholds that were too high. The Department also identified that the St. Louis Board fails to provide accessible curbside voting and auxiliary aids and services, including headphones for some accessible voting machines, and also fails to provide voters with disabilities the same amount of privacy and independence while voting as voters without disabilities. Under the agreement, the St. Louis Board will begin remediating its voting program. To make its selected polling places accessible, the St. Louis Board will employ temporary measures, such as portable ramps, signage, and propped open doors. In addition, the St. Louis Board will train its poll workers and other elections staff on the requirements of the ADA and how to use temporary measures to ensure each polling place is accessible during elections. The St. Louis Board will also survey polling locations for accessibility and maintain the accessibility of each polling place it uses on election days. When selecting future polling places, the agreement requires the St. Louis Board to select locations that will be accessible during elections.
For more information on the ADA or this settlement agreement, please visit ADA.gov or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TTY 800-514-0383).
Article Credit: U.S. Department of Justice
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