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If an elevator is the only accessible path of travel to the voting room, it shall be accessible. Elevators that are adjacent to the voting area, but are not needed to enter the voting area, need not be surveyed.
The call buttons used to summon each elevator shall be centered 42 inches above the floor. These buttons shall be raised above their surrounding surface as shown in Figure 23. Each button shall contain a white light that goes on when the button is activated and goes out when the elevator car arrives. Objects placed adjacent to the call buttons shall not project more than 4 inches from the wall. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.10.)
After a call, when the elevator arrives at floor level, it shall provide an audible and visual signal. An audible signal is a tone that sounds once if the elevator is going up, and twice if the elevator is going down. Newer elevators use computer synthesized voices to speak the "going up," or "going down." (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.13.)
Two visual signals (one for up, another for down) are also required to confirm the up or down direction on the elevator. The individual calling the elevator shall be able to see the up and down signals light up from their location near the hall call buttons whether the signals are mounted in the lobby or on the elevator car. The visual signals shall be at least 2-½ inches high and 2-½ inches wide. To be seen from the hall call buttons, the visual signals shall be installed at least 6 feet above the floor. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.13.)
The elevator door shall open at least 36 inches for entry and exit. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.4.) When the elevator door opens in the center, the inside of the elevator is required to be at least 80 inches wide and 51 inches deep (measured from the front wall to the back wall). A side-opening door allows a smaller car width of 68 inches as shown in Figure 24. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.) In buildings with older elevators, the inside of the car can be as small as 48 inches by 48 inches. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B1.1.2.) These smaller, older elevators may be used on Election Day if the other elevator features comply with requirements of this section.
At each elevator entrance, there is a gap between the floor outside the elevator and the elevator car. This gap shall be no larger than 1¼ inch wide. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.2.) The limited space serves to prevent a wheelchair wheel or a mobility assistance device from falling into the gap. It is recommended that the elevator stop at floor level placing the floor of the elevator even with the lobby landing. However, it is permissible to have the elevator floor stop within ½inch above or below the lobby floor. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.2.)
On each side of the lobby elevator landing, the frame (doorjamb) shall have a sign installed indicating the floor designation in raised characters and Braille. These signs shall be centered 60 inches above the floor on both sides of the landing. See Figure 25. The raised characters shall be at least 2 inches high with the Braille placed immediately below. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.14.)
The main entry floor shall have a raised five-point star that is also 2 inches high placed on the left side of the raised character as shown in Figure 26.
When the elevator arrives and the door opens, it shall remain open at least 5 seconds to allow a person to enter through the doorway. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.7.) If the door starts to close while someone is in the doorway, a potential for injury is present.
For this reason, all elevator doors required to be accessible on Election Day shall be equipped with an automatic door re-opening device that can detect the presence of a person in the doorway without contact. When a door re-opening device is activated, the door shall remain open a minimum of 20 seconds to allow anyone to move completely in or out of the elevator. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.5.)
Once inside the elevator, a person may move directly in front of the car control buttons for a "front" approach or make a side approach as shown in Figure 27. When a front approach is used, the center of the highest car control button shall be a maximum of 48 inches above the car floor. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8) For a side approach, the center of the car control button shall be no higher than 54 inches. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.) Whether a voter will make a side approach or front approach depends on the interior dimensions of the elevator and the location of the elevator door.
The lowest operable control button shall be centered at least 35 inches above the floor. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.)
Elevator control buttons shall also be accompanied by visual indicators. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.9.) When a voter presses a button in the elevator, the traditional visual indicator, a light "inside" or encircling the button, illuminates to confirm the button is activated. The light goes out when the elevator completes each request. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.10.)
A visual indicator is required to show the location of the elevator when it stops at or passes a floor level. This indicator shall be placed above the control panel or above the door. The numbers used to show the floor location shall be at least ½-inch high. As the car passes or stops at a floor, the corresponding floor number lights up and an audible signal sounds. The audible signal is a tone that sounds once if the elevator is going up, and twice if the elevator is going down. Newer elevators use computer synthesized voices to say "going up," "going down," or the floor number. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.9.)
Raised characters required on the left of each control button provide visual and tactile identification. See Figure 28. The 5/8-inch high characters provide a visual button identification through a contrasting white on a black background. The tactile identification from the raised characters is accompanied by corresponding Braille placed immediately below the raised characters. The additional symbol of a raised star is required on the left side of the raised character identifying the main floor control button. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.9.)
Larger elevators may have more than one set of controls. In those cases, only one set of controls is required to comply. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.)
Emergency two-way communication within the elevator shall be identified with the proper raised characters and Braille as required for control buttons. Voice communication shall not be required during an emergency to summon rescue personnel. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.) However, if an emergency telephone is used, the handset cord shall be a minimum of 29 inches long. When a handset or other emergency device is located inside a compartment, the compartment door shall have accessible lever type hardware. To assure full accessibility, the emergency handset or controls shall be no higher than 48 inches above the elevator floor. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.8.)
In every elevator, a smooth handrail is required on one wall of the car, preferably the rear. The handrail shall be positioned 31 inches to 33 inches above the elevator floor and have a gap of at least 1 ½ inch between the handrail and the wall. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.1.11.)
Wheelchair lifts may be provided between levels instead of passenger elevators. Lifts typically provide access where existing limitations prevent the use of a ramp or an elevator. If a lift is provided, it shall allow unassisted entry, operation and exit. For unassisted entry and exit, lift doors shall have at least 32 inches clear width for a front approach or 42 inch clear width for a side approach. For unassisted operation, voters shall be able to activate the lift controls with one hand without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.2, § 1116B.4.) It is recommended that the top and bottom landing areas where voters would enter or exit the lift should be a minimum size of 60 inches by 60 inches. Smaller landing dimensions may be used if it is determined that a person using a 30 inch by 48 inch wheelchair can enter and operate the lift safely. See Figure 29. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.2.4.1.) To ensure continued operation in case of primary power loss, platform (wheelchair) lifts shall be provided with standby power or with self-rechargeable battery power that provides sufficient power to operate all platform lift functions for a minimum of five upward and downward trips. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1116B.3.1.)
A simple way to modify protruding objects, such as garbage cans or plants, in front of elevator door/lift controls or buttons is to relocate these objects.