It is the policy of the Marin County Elections Department to undertake necessary steps to locate vote centers that are accessible to people with disabilities. New locations will be surveyed, rated for accessibility, and mitigated with accessibility equipment and supplies when necessary.
Standard equipment and supplies used at every vote center include:
- Accessible ballot marking devices
- Accessible voting booth
- Pen grips
- Outside call bell to request curbside assistance
Vote centers are open multiple days before Election Day and are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters are not assigned to a specific vote center and may go to any location for in-person services.
Vote centers are selected using criteria specified in the Voter’s Choice Act (Elections Code section 4005), including:
- Population centers
- Access to public transportation
- Ares with low vote-by-mail use
- Language minority communities
- Disability communities
- Low-income communities
- Geographic areas
Locations are also evaluated on:
- Computer connectivity
A List of Vote Center Locations with days and hours of operation is on our website and is published in the Voter Information Guide mailed to all registered voters starting 40 days before an election.
Voters are not assigned to a specific vote center and may go to any location for in-person services.
Using the survey guidelines and checklist provided by the California Secretary of State, the Elections Department conducts on-site inspections to determine the level of accessibility of each location. A site is considered accessible if it meets all the regulations on the checklist—either with or without temporary mitigation equipment and/or supplies.
Mitigation equipment and/or supplies include:
- Ramps for door thresholds greater than 1/2 inch
- Rubber mats for gaps in pavement in the path of travel
- Reflective tape for a hazardous edge in the path of travel
- Accessible route signs
- Van accessible parking signs
- Cones to create or widen an accessible parking aisle
- Doorknob sleeves
- Placards with room names in Braille
- Lamps for inside the voting room
- Outdoor lights
- Call bells for voters to alert workers that assistance is needed outside
- Coordinator and assistant will use the following tools to survey an existing or potential location:
- Smart level
- Distance measuring device
- Measuring tape
- Door pressure gauge
- Coordinator and assistant assess the following:
- Parking areas
- Paths of travel to the entrance
- Doorways, hallways, entrances
- Voting areas
- Ramps, curb-ramps and slopes
- Elevators and lifts
- Restrooms if they are made available
[NOTE: At this time, restrooms are not surveyed since they are not made available. A notice is included on the tri-fold information board at each vote center.]
- Coordinator and assistant complete the checklist and take photographs to document the site.
- Coordinator will designate a location as either “accessible” or “inaccessible”.
- Coordinator will maintain a file of completed surveys and photographs, which will be available for public inspection.
- Upon learning new information about a location, which may be provided by the movers or vote center workers, the Coordinator will make a site visit and re-survey the location if necessary.
Mitigation of Locations
- After completing the on-site survey, Coordinator will determine if the site requires temporary modifications to improve accessibility.
- Coordinator will implement the required modifications by:
- Placing an order for the needed supplies.
- Updating all instructions.
- If a location is determined to be inaccessible, a call bell for curbside voting will be standard equipment at that site.
- The Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC) will be updated at a regular meeting. We may request help locating accessible places or suggesting ways to mitigate inaccessible locations.
Installation of Mitigation Equipment and/or Supplies
Working from the list and set-up instructions, the moving company will install the mitigation equipment the evening before Election Day.
Vote Center Workers
Vote centers workers will set up the small mitigation supplies, such as the Braille room name placards and doorstops, and will also use the instructions to verify accurate set up of the entire site.
As needed, department staff members will attend training provided by the State Department of Rehabilitation’s accessibility training program to learn how to survey site for accessibility.
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