Hidalgo Co. Making Polling Places Accessible to Disabled Voters
EDINBURG – Hidalgo County polling sites will be undergoing some changes.
For more than a year, Hidalgo County had been working on improving polling locations by making them Americans with Disabilities Act complaint.
Hidalgo County Elections administrator Yvonne Ramon said they began working with Disabilities Rights Texas to make sure their locations were accessible to disabled voters.
Then the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney Office also reviewed 92 locations during the primaries of 2016. Inspectors were looking closely to determine if the changes necessary could be temporary or whether the facilities required more permanent repairs.
“They measure slopes, inclination on our ramps. They measure widths, they measure door handles, and they looked at all these accessible needs and advised us how to make things better for all our voters. That’s a great thing,” she said.
Ramon said temporary fixes could include things like mats over uneven surfaces, makeshift parking spots to shorten entrance distance or adjusting voting areas to allow for wheelchair access.
She said they’ve also looked at ways that go beyond compliance such as buzzers. They hope to have in all voting sites in the upcoming elections where disabled voters could make use of curbside voting.
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