How Accessible were the Polls Really in 2022?

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The disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) is the Commonwealth’s designated Protection and Advocacy Agency for Virginians with disabilities. dLCV is mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (PL 107-252) to advocate for the rights of Virginia voters with disabilities. Through dLCV’s Protection and Advocacy for Voter Access (PAVA) program, we

  • Educate individuals, communities, poll workers and the Board of Elections about the voting rights of people with disabilities;
  • Monitor and investigate complaints about polling place accessibility and privacy;
  • Collaborate with other voting rights advocates for systemic change for people with disabilities;
  • Participate in the implementation of provisions of the Help America Vote Act affecting people with disabilities; and
  • Assist and represent individual voters in the state-based administrative grievance processes.

Part of this work also includes surveying polling sites on Election Day to determine if sites are accessible and taking corrective action if sites are not accessible. Every election day, dLCV staff and volunteers travel to different counties in Virginia and survey a sampling of polling places from that county or city.

In 2022, we completed over 500 surveys. Through the surveys, we learned that approximately 80% of the sites had appropriate curbside voting signs, 82.5% had accessible parking spots closest to the door, 87% had an accessible pathway to the door, and 79% had accessible doors that could be opened with a closed fist. We, at dLCV, analyzed our findings and shared them with the Commissioner of Elections. You can find our full report, letter, and the Commissioner’s response below.