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When voters enter the voting area, a stable, firm, and slip-resistant path of travel shall be provided. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1124B.1.) For that reason hardwood or waxed floors that are not slip-resistant, deep pile carpet, loose carpets, or throw rugs are not recommended. For example, polished hardwood or waxed floors can become a slipping hazard, while deep pile carpet can be difficult for a person using a wheelchair to wheel across. Loose carpets or throw rugs can cause a tripping hazard.
After voters enter the voting area, they shall also be able to exit, especially during an emergency. Therefore, seats, tables, equipment or similar materials, shall be located along aisles that lead to an exit. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.6.1.) Every aisle shall not be less than 36 inches wide if serving only one side, and not less than 44 inches wide if there are booths or tables for voter use on both sides of the aisle. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.6.1, 2.) See Figure 10.
In the event of an emergency, locked exit doors shall have accessible hardware so voters and poll workers may have an additional way to exit the building. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.2.5.2.)
The voting area shall also be free of objects that protrude into the path of travel, such as lighting, shelves, or wall mounted telephones. When objects mounted on walls are placed at a height between 27 inches and 80 inches above the floor, they shall not extend into the path of travel more than 4 inches. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1133B.8.6.1.) The 4-inch limitation provides a measure of safety when voters with limited vision are using the accessible path of travel. See Figure 11 for an example of an item protruding more than 4 inches into the path of travel.
A person using a wheelchair for mobility will require a clear floor space of 60 inches in diameter or a T-shaped space to turn around and maneuver their wheelchair in the voting area. The minimum clear floor or ground space required to accommodate a person using a wheelchair shall be 30 inches by 48 inches. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1118B.3, 4.) See Figure 12.
Accessible tables in the voting area shall be between 28 inches to 34 inches from the finished floor. Under each accessible table used for elderly voters and voters with disabilities, there shall be a clear space at least 19 inches deep, 30 inches wide, and 27 inches from the finished floor as shown in Figure 13. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 24, § 1122B.3, 4.) The 30-inch by 48-inch clear floor space required for wheelchairs at tables may be combined with the knee space under tables and voting stations. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 24, § 1118B.4.1.)
Elderly voters and voters with disabilities shall be able to approach the voter sign-in or other writing tables from a forward or side/parallel position. Tables used as a base for voting equipment shall provide a forward or side approach as shown in Figure 14. The voting equipment shall be placed at a height where operable controls throughout their full range of movement are no higher than 48 inches above the finished floor for a front approach and 54 inches above the floor for a side approach. (Cal. Code of Regs., tit. 24, § 1118B.5, 6.)
Other requirements for the interior path of travel may include the slope, cross-slope, overhead clear space, protruding objects, changes in level, and stable, firm, and slip-resistant surfaces, or other path of travel features as explained in Section 2 Path of Travel.
Additional ways of providing accommodation in the voting area may include assigning a poll worker the duty of providing way-finding throughout the day and during emergencies.