U.S. Attorney’s Office partnering with Indiana Disability Rights to ensure early voting sites are accessible for all voters

INDIANA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana (USAO) and Indiana Disability Rights (IDR) are partnering to survey the accessibility of early polling sites for the 2023 General Election.

The project, “Access the Vote,” uses survey results to inform County Clerks about individualized solutions to ensure their polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities.

IDR has conducted accessibility surveys, based on the United States Department of Justice’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist for Polling Places, during early voting in several primary and general elections. The USAO’s participation provides needed additional personnel to survey more counties and helps to raise awareness of the Access the Vote project.

The ADA requires all aspects of in-person voting – both early and on Election Day – to comply with accessibility requirements, including those for accessible parking and the route of travel to the voting area. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) mandates additional accessibility measures, such as the provision of a working accessible voting machine at each polling place. Using a combination of IDR and USAO staff, as well as trained community partners, Access the Vote identifies potential ADA and HAVA violations and opportunities to remedy them.

Kristin Dulaney

“Voting is a fundamental right and civic duty. Everyone who wishes to vote in-person deserves to do so without barriers,” said Kristin Dulaney, IDR’s Project Manager for Access the Vote. “We welcome the support of the USAO to expand our Access the Vote initiative and serve more voters with disabilities who will cast their ballot this fall throughout Indiana.”

“Having your voice heard at the ballot box is a fundamental part of being an American. Every voter deserves the opportunity to cast their ballot in person without barriers—and our laws require election officials to ensure access to the polls,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Through the Access the Vote project, we are teaming up with Indiana Disability Rights to help ensure that polling places comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and to educate election administrators on how to make their polling sites accessible. We will work together to see that all eligible Hoosiers are able to fully participate in our elections.”

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s initiatives to protect Civil Rights, please visit our website.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston, who leads the office’s civil enforcement of civil rights laws and the Access the Vote project. Myers also thanked all the office’s professionals who volunteered to help ensure voters’ rights under the law.