Appendix D - Possible Modification Techniques

Polling Place Accessibility Guidelines – March 2010

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When an accessible polling place cannot be located, county elections officials may attempt to modify an inaccessible polling site for use on Election Day by applying temporary measures to provide accessible features or to minimize physical barriers at that polling place. Equipment or measures used to modify areas of a polling place may be placed at arrival points, on the paths of travel, at entryways, or within a voting area.

Potential temporary modifications to provide accessible features or minimize physical barriers at a polling place that elections officials may want to consider include:

Parking (inaccessible features and potential temporary modification)

If the parking aisle for van accessible or auto accessible parking spaces is too narrow:

  • Cone off an additional adjacent parking space on the passenger side to expand the aisle

If the van accessible or auto accessible parking space and/or aisle is not long enough:

  • Using duct tape, extend the parking space the required number of inches or feet

If accessible parking signage is not present:

  • Place a sign (attached to a pole) in a cone at the head of the parking space (in front of the parking space where the hood of the vehicle typically goes) designating the space as a van space (full size aisle) or a car space (smaller or shared aisle)

If the van accessible or auto accessible parking space slopes too steeply:

  • Identify a space close by that does not slope too steeply and designate it as an accessible space using the three mitigations described above

Path of Travel (inaccessible features and potential temporary modification)

If the path of travel signage (to parking or to a polling place) is unclear or missing:

  • Place a sign(s) (attached to poles) in a cone(s) along the path of travel directing voters

If curbs are present in the path of travel that are not ramped:

  • Use small ramps (that comply with the requirements of curb ramps in the Guidelines) to travel from the lower to upper surface (or vice versa)

If one possible path of travel is not wide enough:

  • See if an alternate path of travel is available, or if the possible path of travel can be widened by removing obstacles or trimming bushes

If stairs are present that are exposed on the underside so that a visually impaired person might bump their heads on the underside of them (they are not cane detectable):

  • Place cones or other barriers to alert the visually impaired person of the hazard

If grates are present in the path of travel that have holes that are too large in the direction of travel:

  • Place rubber mats that are firm, stable and slip resistant and do not create an abrupt level change, over the grates

If objects protrude into a path of travel or into the voting area:

  • Move the object or place a cone or similar object beneath the hazard to make it cane detectable, or secure loose items (such as vines or hanging cords) with tape or in some other manner

If main entrances to the polling place are not accessible:

  • Use temporary signage to direct voters along the accessible path of travel to the accessible entrance, which should also have the required accessible door signage

If doorway or other thresholds are too high or too abrupt:

  • Use small ramps (that comply with the requirements of curb ramps in the Guidelines) to mitigate the barrier. Leave doors to allow for travel up to and over the ramp (landing requirements)

Doors and Hallways (inaccessible features and potential temporary modification)

If a door has insufficient landing space or insufficient strike side clearance:

  • Leave the door open or post someone to open the door

If a door has a sloped landing space:

  • Leave the door open or post someone to open the door

If a door has inaccessible door hardware (such as round knobs or thumb latches):

  • Leave the door open or post someone to open the door

If a door requires pressure more than five pounds of force to open:

  • Leave the door open or post someone to open the door

Voting Area (inaccessible features and potential temporary modification)

If voting booths do not have enough knee space:

  • Use extenders to expand the knee space

If the voting area is too dimly lit for proper use as a polling place:

  • Provide extra lights

Elevators and Lifts (inaccessible features and potential temporary modification)

If elevators or lifts do not meet standards:

  • Post someone to operate the elevator or lift

Restrooms

If restrooms closest to the polling site or room used on Election Day are not accessible to everyone, it is recommended that restrooms should not be available to anyone who comes to the polling site or room for the purpose of voting.