City boosts access for those with disabilities

By Kay Nolan,  April 3, 2006

The City of Milwaukee has abandoned 17 polling sites that are not accessible to people with disabilities, and has made improvements to others, such as ramps and special doorbells, in time for Tuesday’s election.

“At this point, 99% of our sites are accessible,” said Neil Albrecht, assistant director of Milwaukee’s Election Commission. “I think voters will see a significant difference.” Residents who used to vote at the 17 inaccessible sites have been assigned to new locations.

The Journal Sentinel reported in November that nearly 41% of polling sites statewide posed significant physical barriers for elderly and disabled people, despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.The 2002 federal Help America Vote Act gave municipalities nationwide a deadline of 2006 to meet accessibility standards at polling places.