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Accessible Democracy: The Voting Rights of People with Disabilities Ohio Association of Election Officials June 14, 2006. Daniel Tokaji The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. The Voting Rights of People with Disabilities. I. Survey of Relevant Laws II. ADA Basic Principles
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The Ohio State University
Moritz College of Law
I. Survey of Relevant Laws
II. ADA Basic Principles
III. Specific Requirements and Case Law
Prohibited where it’s arbitrary or there’s no rational basis.
A “fundamental” right, infringements of which are “carefully and meticulously scrutinized.”
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA)
Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union.
42 USC 1973aa-6.
Voting Accessibility for Elderly & Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA)
42 USC 1973ee et seq.
Section 504 of the Rehab. Act of 1973 (Sec. 504)
“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance ….”
29 USC 794.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
42 USC 12101 et seq.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA or “Motor Voter”)
“Each State shall designate as voter registration agencies … all offices in the State that provide State-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities.”42 USC 1973gg-5.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA)
42 USC 15481
(B) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the board shall ensure all of the following:
(a) That polling places are free of barriers that would impede ingress and egress of handicapped persons;
(b) That the minimum number of special parking locations, also known as handicapped parking spaces or disability parking spaces, for handicapped persons are designated at each polling place in accordance with 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A, and in compliance with division (E) of section 4511.69 of the Revised Code.
(c) That the entrances of polling places are level or are provided with a nonskid ramp of not over eight per cent gradient;
(d) That doors are a minimum of thirty-two inches wide.
(B)(2) Notwithstanding division (B)(1)(a), (c), or (d) of this section, certain polling places in each county may be specifically exempted by the secretary of state upon certification by a board of elections that a good faith, but unsuccessful, effort has been made to modify, or change the location of, such polling places ....
(E) Before the day of an election, the director of the board of elections of each county shall sign a statement verifying that each polling place that will be used in that county at that election meets the requirements of division (B)(1)(b) of this section. The signed statement shall be sent to the secretary of state by certified mail.
If passenger loading zones are provided, one must have: