On Election Day, CIDNY staff and volunteers conducted comprehensive polling site surveys for accessibility. The survey findings showed many of the same problems identified in previous years. This demonstrates that the New York City Board of Elections has not sufficiently addressed the barriers faced by voters with disabilities.
With surveys completed at 59 polling sites, we found that 35, or 59%, of the sites had at least one physical access barrier. Those barriers included narrow doorways, inadequate signage, pathways with broken concrete, non-ADA compliant ramps, and poorly placed machines.
Image description: IS 70 333 West 18th St., Manhattan. Approximately 1 ¼” high bevel with cracked cement creating tripping hazards and barriers for people who are blind or those using wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers.
Image description: PS 130, Brooklyn. Bad bevel. This beveled area is inadequate for people using wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers to access the sidewalk.
Image description: 777 Concourse Village, Bronx. Broken concrete along the pathway.
Image description: New Heights, Brooklyn. Traffic cone propping door blocking access to the entrance (a poll worker eventually came out to hold the door open).
CIDNY’s volunteers and staff completed survey training and surveyed polling sites in the 5 boroughs on Election Day. Volunteer Christine Serdjenian Yearwood says: “CIDNY provided an excellent training that prepared me to serve as a poll site accessibility monitor for the general election this year. It was a great experience, and I was happy to be able to serve in this way. I will most certainly do it again next year.”
If you have a story about access to your polling site, you can still fill out our individual voter survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9RV6JX3 or contact Monica Bartley at 646/442-4152 or email@example.com.