Physical Space Compliance
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) dictated that our nation’s voting system be accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. To achieve this standard, states were directed to:
- Make polling places, including the path of travel, entrances, exits, and voting areas of each polling facility, accessible to individuals with the full range of disabilities (for example: blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, mobility-related, dexterity-related, emotional, or intellectual.)
- Provide the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) to individuals with the full range of disabilities.
- Train election officials and poll workers on how best to promote the access and participation of individuals with the full range of disabilities in elections.
- Provide individuals with the full range of disabilities with information about the accessibility of polling places.
The State of New York, in working toward full compliance of these directives, made a number of upgrades to the polling places and to poll worker training. Additionally, we performed public outreach to various disability groups to identify issues and concerns that they felt needed to be addressed in poll worker training and the voting process. Upgrades in equipment and procedures continue as we work to ensure that the voices of all New York citizens are heard via the polls.