Lycoming County Settles Accessibility Claims Under Title II of the ADA

United States Attorney's OfficeImage via United States Attorney's Office

SCRANTON, PA — On Friday, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced a settlement with Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to improve physical accessibility at the county’s polling places for individuals who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.

During the November 7, 2017, General Election, the United States Attorney’s Office, along with an architect from the Department of Justice, surveyed a portion of the county’s polling place locations.  The survey resulted in a finding that many of the County’s polling locations contain barriers to vote for persons with disabilities. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by a state or local government in any of its programs or services, including its voting program.

Under the terms of the agreement, the county will use an evaluation form for each current and prospective polling place based on ADA architectural standards.  The settlement requires the county to either relocate inaccessible polling places to new, accessible facilities, or to use temporary measures such as portable ramps, signs, traffic cones and doorbells, where appropriate to ensure accessibility on Election Day.

“Obstacles and barriers at polling locations for individuals with disabilities violate their fundamental right to vote,” said U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam.  “This agreement demonstrates a working partnership between Lycoming County and the United States to ensure all disabled voters will be able to cast their ballots with their neighbors on Election Day.”

This investigation was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Butler, the civil rights coordinator, with the assistance of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (Disability Rights Section).

Those interested in finding out more about the ADA can access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.

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