All Polling Places Must Be ADA Accessible
Federal law says all polling places must be accessible by wheelchair. But advocates in West Virginia say there is an ongoing concern that not all the polling places in the state comply with this requirement.
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act states that all polling places must include at least one wheelchair accessible voting machine and an accessible route to and from the precinct. This route must be the same route that all voters take not an alternate route, for instance, in the back of a building.
In an email, Jeremiah Underhill, legal director for West Virginia Advocates says part of the issue is that the Secretary of State’s website itself sends an inconsistent message. It “states that all polling places must have an ADA approved voting machine but then sates that if your polling place is not accessible you can transfer your registration to vote in location that is accessible," he said.
Despite the concerns, Underhill says violations that were reported during the primary have been addressed and that no violations have been reported for in the 2016 general election.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.