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6. Lack of privacy for voters casting a paper ballot.

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Details

State law requires that a table or booth be available for voters with disabilities who wish to cast a paper ballot and who do not wish to use the accessible voting system.  This booth or table should meet all ADA requirements for height, width and toe/knee clearance (figure 1).  The booth or table also should be clearly visible when voters enter the voting area and be positioned or set up to ensure voter privacy.

                                                               (figure 1)                

The entrance to the table should be at least 30” wide and the height from the floor to the underside of the table must be a minimum of 27”.  The top of the table or writing surface must be no higher than 34” and there should be at least 19” of knee/toe clearance under the table so that a voter in a wheelchair will have access to the top of the booth or table/writing surface.  Please note that the table in the above diagram is pictured with an accessible voting machine on top of it, but the same standards apply to the booth or table where a voter with a disability can cast a paper ballot. 

Best Practices

Pictured below are two common practices for providing an accessible booth or table for a voter with a disability who wishes to cast a paper ballot.  In the below left photo, a folding table that meets ADA standards has been set up with privacy shields on top to ensure voter privacy (figure 2).  

Many municipalities use ADA-compliant voting booths like the one shown in the below right image.  These booths are similar to regular voting booths, but are lower to the ground and have a wider entrance to provide access for voters in wheelchairs.  The accessible voting booths also afford the same degree of privacy as regular voting booths (figure 3).

     

(figure 2)                                                                                                       (figure 3)

Common Problems

Both of the tables pictured below do not provide privacy for voters using them to cast a paper ballot. The table pictured in the below right photo does have a magnifying glass to assist voters with vision problems, but lacks a privacy shield (figure 5). In addition, those materials are placed on the table in a location that would not provide the full 19” of knee/toe clearance due to the presence of the table legs and support bars.

     

(figure 4)                                                                                                       (figure 5)

The booth or table where a voter with a disability can cast a paper ballot should also be visible to all voters when they enter the voting area. This may be a challenge at facilities with smaller voting areas. ADA-compliant tables should not be located in bathrooms (figure 6), kitchen areas or in a location that is out of plain sight from the voters.

                                                                      (figure 6)                   

 

Next: 7. Interior routes had obstacles, were poorly lit, and/or were not clearly marked.