Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that the government has reached a settlement agreement with the City of Waterbury to ensure that people with disabilities can physically access polling stations.
The settlement agreement resolves a complaint filed with the US Department of Justice that the City of Waterbury was using voting sites that were inaccessible to people with disabilities. After receiving the complaint, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office spoke to city officials and people with disabilities, interviewed polling stations, and reviewed information provided by the city. The investigation determined that some polling stations in Waterbury did not fully comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including excessively sloped parking lots, narrow doors, steep ramps and inaccessible door hardware. These non-compliant features made the city’s voting program inaccessible to voters with certain disabilities.
“Every voter has the basic right to vote in person at their local polling station, and this settlement agreement protects that right by ensuring access to the Waterbury polling stations for people with reduced mobility,” the US prosecutor said by Acting Boyle.
Acting US Attorney Boyle noted that the town of Waterbury had cooperated with the investigation and had voluntarily entered into the deal. The city has already made improvements to bring voting locations into compliance, and the agreement is in effect for two years, during which time the U.S. attorney’s office will monitor the city’s compliance.
This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney William M Brown, Jr., United States Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut, and Senior Prosecutor Elizabeth Johnson, United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Human Rights Section. People with Disabilities.
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that a public accommodation or public entity in Connecticut is not accessible to people with disabilities can contact the United States Attorney’s Office at 203-821-3700.
Additional information on ADA is available at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Department of Justice’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 and (800) 514-0383 (TTY). More information on the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the laws it administers can be found at www.justice.gov/crt. A copy of the Settlement Agreement can be found at www.ada.gov.