Patricia S. Pohl, Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, Brian McKiernan, Kris M. Vacek, Michael Donnelly, Julia Gilmore Gaughan; Access to Polling Places in the 2004 Presidential Election: The Experience of One Metropolitan Midwestern City. Am J Occup Ther 2006;60(4):404–408. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.60.4.404
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
According to federal law, polling places must be accessible to persons with disabilities. The rate of compliance with these laws, however, is not known. Our purpose was to determine whether polling places in the Greater Kansas City area were physically accessible to persons with disabilities. Students, faculty, and staff members from four professional programs representing two universities completed surveys at 128 polling places on the day of the 2004 Presidential election. Over the 14 items of interest, compliance ranged from 75% to 99%. The highest rate of deficiencies was found in the lack of a ramp with a handrail to the entrance of the polling place. Only 43% of the polling places were compliant in all of the 14 survey items. Despite laws mandating that polling places be accessible to persons with disabilities, restrictions in access persist. Persons with disabilities may still find polling places inaccessible on Election Day.
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