U.S. District Court Judge Finds New York City Board of Elections is Liable for Violation of Federal Laws Protecting the Disabled

On August 8, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts, a Clinton appointee,, granted summary judgment to two groups that represent disabled individuals, in their claim that the New York City Board of Elections is liable for violating federal laws that protect access to the polls for disabled persons. The case is United Spinal Association v Board of Elections in the City of New York, southern district, 10-cv-5653.

The 31-page decision is filled with examples of specific polling places in recent past elections at which wheelchair access was virtually impossible. The Board defended itself by saying it has a policy of re-assigning disabled voters to other nearby polling places, but the Court found that the Board had put the burden on the disabled individual to find appropriate alternative polling places, and that it is the Board that should be responsible for finding such alternate polling places. See this story.

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