Contact: Kate Shepherd
Surveyors Could Be at Your Polling Place November 2
Early Results Show the Majority of Polls Are at Least 80% Compliant
Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita says accessibility surveys of half of Indiana's polling places will take place during the November 2 election. The surveys are being conducted on behalf of Secretary Rokita's office through a partnership with Count Us IN, a project of the Governor's Planning Council for People with Disabilities.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that polling places and voting equipment be accessible to all Hoosiers by January 2006. Secretary Rokita has served as a national leader in conducting these statewide accessibility surveys. The surveys review accessibility issues including whether a polling place has ramps, adequate handicapped parking, easy to use door handles, and elevators if applicable, among other requirements. The requirements are an effort to boost voter turnout for people with disabilities. Officials say turnout for this group is about 20% less than the general population.
About half of Indiana's counties were surveyed during the May primary. Survey data from May has now been sent to county commissioners, who have the responsibility of selecting polling places in all counties except Marion County. An analysis found that the majority of polling places are at least 80% compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines.
"I think these survey results are encouraging," Rokita said. "We have made great strides toward insuring that every Hoosier can cast his ballot without obstacles. County election officials have been working diligently toward the goal of making all polling locations fully accessible. The data collected so far helps show counties where they have been successful in attaining accessibility and where future efforts should be focused. I thank them for their efforts and look forward to continuing to work with them to make voting accessible for all Hoosiers."