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2022-10-24 - 11:24 p.m.

DAMN I am working on election day.
Not a big deal as far as voting as I will be able to vote when get off work.
BUT I hoped to actually volunteer with the Disability Law Center of VA and observe and survey the accessibilty of polling places to ensure disabled who show up at the polls are granted access without constraints and blocks.

Assessibility to the polls for disabled is critical to our democracy working with full inclusion.

I at least could ask others to help as well and shared the need for volunteers. But just bummed I am at work that day.

I can help in the late afternoon and evening; but the thing is the best help is if someone is available in my area EARLY in the day so if there is any concern that needs correction it is fixed sooner rather than later so it is not an impediment to any disabled person who shows up to vote.

I did drive by a polling place super busy today where there was early voting and that site clearly demarked curbside voting capability by having a few designated curbside parking spots very near the building.
What was not clear to me was if one could just SHOW UP and vote curbside. I think just cause there are so many curbside pick ups at restaraunts and stores where have to have placed and order on line AHEAD of time my brain wondered if that was somehow a spot for someone that SOMEHOW scheduled a time ahead of time to show up.
BUT THAT Makes NO SENSE for a polling place! Just that my brain thought that and in the moment really just ASSUMED one HAD to have somehow communicated AHEAD of time to do that.

It was an assumption My brain thought "Oh must be a way to have chosen that option on line..."

and I did not really think more about it as I drove PAST the curbside option.

That is-
Until I watched the training for accessibility checks at polls. There were some helpful items to be more aware of that I may have overlooked if not called to my attention specifically. For instance they had photos from actual polling locations in the past which did not have reasonable access for wheelchairs. The walkway to the door of the building where voting was taking place, for instance, in one case had a big pole in the middle of it. There was not enough clearance on either side of the pole for EVERY wheelchair as designed. I mean really- legit some may be stuck and not be able to navigage easily around that obstruction.

There was another polling place without curbs that gently slope down for wheelchair accessibility.
Then another with curbs well designed by access still challenging as the slope then connected to GRASS rather than pavement. So it was an area it would be more challenging to move on with many wheelchairs. I mean would need some serious tires to handle that terrain! (Like bike tires!)

I likely would not have noticed EITHER obstruction without some training to increase awareness.

So Its great they are checking and then calling polling places to ask them to fix accessibility issues on Election Day.

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