Polling Place Accessibility Guidelines – January 2014
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Signage is used extensively on Election Day to direct voters arriving at the polling place to the voting area. However, not all areas or features of a building open on Election Day are under the jurisdiction of county elections officials. For this reason, those areas of a facility used by county elections officials shall be clearly marked to provide accessibility for all voters. (CCR, Sections 11B-216.2, 11B-216.3.)
When a voter arrives at the polling place, several signs may be necessary to show elderly voters and voters with disabilities where to vote. All directional entrance signs placed at arrival points to the polling place shall conform with this section. Additional directional signs shall be provided to guide voters toward and through the accessible path of travel to the voting area whenever that path diverges from the regular path of travel. (CCR, Sections 11B-216.6, 11B-703.5.)
The standard symbol used to identify facilities and features that are accessible to elderly voters and persons with disabilities is the International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA). The ISA used by county elections officials consists of a white figure on a blue background. (CCR, Section 11B-703.7.2.1.) See Figure 16.
Providing way-finding signage to the voting area is accomplished by using the ISA in conjunction with large bold arrows and/or other directional symbols. All accessible signage regardless of content shall have a non-glare finish. (CCR, Sections 11B-216.6, 11B-703.5.1.) For signage that must be laminated to withstand exterior weather conditions, it is recommended that a matte or eggshell finish laminate be applied to reduce glare.
Accessible signs shall also have character and symbol colors that contrast with the background color. (Dark on a light background or light on a dark background.) (CCR, Sections 11B-703.5.1, 11B-703.7.1.) See Figure 17.
All accessible building entrances shall be identified with the ISA. Entrances which are not accessible on Election Day shall have directional signage that indicates the location of and route to the nearest accessible entrance. (CCR, Section 11B-216.6.) Directional signs shall have contrasting colors and non-glare finish (CCR, Sections 11B-216.6 and 11B-703.5.1.) Directional and informational signs do not require raised letters and Braille. See Figure 18.
Permanent rooms and spaces identified with names or room numbers that are used by elections officials shall be identified with signs containing the corresponding names and numbers in raised letters/numerals and Braille. (CCR, Sections 11B-703. and 11B-703.2.) These signs shall be installed on the wall adjacent to the latch-side, or strike-side edge, of the door. If there is no wall space on the latch-side of the door (for example double doors) signs shall be placed on the nearest adjacent wall, preferably on the right side. (CCR, Section 703.4.2. and 703.5.)
Tactile characters on signs shall be placed so the lowest part of any Braille cell is 48 inches or higher above the floor and the bottom of any tactile letter is no more than 60 inches above the floor measured from the baseline of raised characters. (CCR, Sections 11B-703.4.1, 11B-703.4.2.) See Figure 19.
A voter shall be able to approach within 3 inches of a sign without encountering protruding objects, or standing/wheeling within the swing of a door. (CCR, Sections 11B-703.4.2.)
Additional ways of accommodation provided in the voting area may include assigning a poll worker the duty of providing way-finding throughout the day and during emergencies.