7. Interior routes that had obstacles, were poorly lit, and/or were not clearly marked.


Interior routes are any hallway or corridor that a voter would have to travel from the accessible entrance to the voting area. These areas should be well lit on Election Day and free from obstacles that could pose a hazard for voters with vision problems or voters who use a wheelchair or walker.

Common obstacles that can be relocated for Election Day include folding tables, trash cans and chairs. Permanent fixtures, such as drinking fountains and display cases, should be marked with a cane-detectable barrier or object such as a traffic cone.

All hallways and corridors must also be 48” wide and cannot narrow for more than a short distance to less than 36” wide.

If the voting area is not directly inside the accessible entrance, signage directing voters to the voting area must be provided. This practice allows voters with mobility issues to travel the most direct route to the voting area. 

Best Practices

All interior routes from the accessible entrance to the voting area should be marked with large print signs directing voters to the voting area. The sign pictured in the below left photo allows voters to identify the voting area without confusion (figure 1). In the below right photo, directional signs are used to direct voters to the elevator that they would need to use to access the voting area (figure 2).


(figure 1)                                                                                                    (figure 2)

The below photo illustrates the proper method for marking a permanent or semi-permanent obstacle along the route to the voting area (figure 3). The traffic cone allows voters with visual impairments who use a cane to detect the obstacle and move around it.

                                                       (figure 3)

Common Problems

Pictured below are examples of obstacles that should either be removed or marked with a cane-detectable barrier on Election Day. The below right photo (figure 5) illustrates that objects such as recycling bins and trash cans should be removed from corridors and hallways that voters will use to access the voting area, while the photo on the below left (figure 4) depicts a table that restricts access to the voting area and a drinking fountain that should be marked with a cane-detectable barrier, but is not. These barriers can be eliminated during a quick walk thorough by the municipal clerk, or another election worker, on or before Election Day.


(figure 4)                                                                          (figure 5)

The below photos represent situations where the set-up of a polling place has inadvertently created accessibility issues. The use of traffic cones in the below right photo (figure 7) was an attempt to create orderly flow of voters in and out of the voting area, but instead created a corridor that would not allow a voter in a wheelchair to enter the voting area without moving the cones. In the below left photo (figure 6), the tables that have been set up in the hallway create a congested path of travel that narrows for a significant distance. These situations also illustrate how polling place set-up for efficient voter flow interacts with accessibility standards.


(figure 6)                                                                                                    (figure 7) 

Next: 8. Accessible voting equipment that was not functional or was not clearly available for voters to use.