Disabled voters who claim the New York City Board of Elections allows impediments at polling places won a victory yesterday before Southern District Judge Deborah Batts (See Profile). She granted summary judgment to the United Spinal Association and Disabled in Action on their claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
“This court finds that there is no genuine dispute of material fact as to the existence of pervasive and recurring barriers to accessibility on election days at poll sites designated” by the Board of Elections, Batts said in United Spinal Association v. Board of Elections of the City of New York, 10 Civ. 5653. She said the plaintiffs had produced “ample evidence of misplaced equipment and inadequate signage by poll workers that have reportedly been trained on accessibility issues.”
The plaintiffs, she said, had demonstrated that the Board of Elections “failed to undertake some feasible measure to improve accessibility, or, in other words, that defendants failed to provide disabled voters with reasonable accommodations.” The judge referred the case to Magistrate Judge Henry Pittman to fashion a remedy consistent with her order.