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It’s time for the US Attorney’s office to step back in

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Americans with Disabilities Act took effect in 1990 - 32 years ago. From April 20, 2017

The United States Attorney’s Office today announced a settlement with the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago to ensure accessibility of polling sites to persons with disabilities.

The agreement requires the Board of Elections to ensure that every polling site is accessible to persons with disabilities by the Nov. 6, 2018, election.

* WBEZ

Chicagoans checking where to vote on Election Day may have been surprised to find that fewer than 10% of the city’s polling places were marked as accessible for people with disabilities — and a third of the city’s 50 wards had no sites considered compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners admits they have not met a deadline arising from a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that required the city to make every voting location fully accessible to people with disabilities for this past election — despite receiving a four-year extension.

* Let’s go back to that 2017 press release

Although the United States agreed not to presently institute a civil action alleging discrimination under the ADA, it may review the Board’s compliance with the settlement at any time during the duration of the agreement. If the United States believes the agreement has been violated, it reserved the right to institute a civil action in the appropriate U.S. District Court to enforce the agreement.

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11 Comments »
  1. - Been There - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    ====and a third of the city’s 50 wards had no sites considered compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.====
    This statement should probably say “fully compliant”. As the story noted there are many factors to be fully compliant.
    On the other hand, the percentages would probably be much worse if they hadn’t consolidated a bunch of precincts.


  2. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    I hope local leaders start publicly and privately pressuring the Cook County Circuit Court to appoint new Board members for the Chicago Board of Elections. Their administration of elections over the last few years has been unacceptable.


  3. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 11:51 am:

    They should jump back in hard. Monitor the upcoming elections actually maybe treat them like they are part of old south. They seem to close voting areas at will with little notice and disregard Federal law. Someone should start yelling voter suppression maybe that would embarrass them into action


  4. - SeniorInChicago - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 11:55 am:

    Chicago is so DINO* in so many ways. This is totally unacceptable when the City keeps kicking the can down the road. Our seniors and persons with disabilities should be given the same accommodation and concern as our children. Voting auld be made more convenient, not more difficult to save a could bucks.

    * Democratic In Name Only


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===Democratic In Name Only===

    Ugh.

    Who exactly isn’t a Dem?

    Lightfoot? Maybe one alderman.


  6. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    Because Chicago once again failed to plan, they planned to fail, and did so. Every polling place must be checked for ADA compliance, and only those used which are either ready, or can be made ready by temporary modifications like rental ramps, building staff to help with doors, chair lifts or configuration of voting location so those using assistive device aren’t trying to get over extension cords, etc. should be used. But CBOE just failed badly again. Full disclosure: I was wheelchair and walker-bound for a time in 2013-2014, so I ‘get it’ in a way the non-afflicted often don’t.


  7. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 1:14 pm:

    while none of my friends with mobility issues have complained about this, each and every time something prevents them from entering and using a space, I’m deeply angry. Yes, intervene.


  8. - Early Illinoisan - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    Thank you for the thoughtful comments here (Amalia, this justinagain,SeniorInChicago). After decades of dealing with this kind of exclusion and advocating for and passing laws that are never enforced you just start to get numb. Illinois actually passed the Environmental Barriers Act prior to the passage of the ADA. In some ways it was more enlightened and more stringent than the federal law. The Illinois AG is charged with enforcement. I once “tried” to attend an event that was actually held by the Illinois Attorney General. I was committed to support her so I went through the garbage strewn, rat infested alley and allowed myself to be lifted into the venue. The next day I set up a meeting with her to explain the concern for her particularly since her office is charged with enforcement. I was met with blinks and a blank stare. OW I think this is what SeniorIn Chicago may have meant when using the term DINO. The expression of deep concern for inclusion, human rights and dignity until its “inconvenient”.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    ===I think this is what===

    How can they be anything but Dems, as even in the narrowest of narrow in this instance… they wouldn’t be Republicans.

    Words matter.


  10. - Early Illinoisan - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:26 pm:

    = Words Matter =

    They do indeed. And I sympathize with those on the spectrum. But I do posses and try to utilize both hemispheres of my brain.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 22 @ 4:30 pm:

    ===And I sympathize with those on the spectrum. But I do posses and try to utilize both hemispheres of my brain.===

    Maybe you’re trying too hard?

    Maybe let others speak for themselves if it’s hurting your brain.

    There’s maybe one “Republican” alderman, “maybe” and maybe Lightfoot has leanings, but… c’mon, lol


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