|Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 4, 2017
Iowa Secretary of State to provide tablet computers with ADA Checklist app to every county to ensure accessible polling locations
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate unveils a new method to ensure the accessibility of polling sites in Iowa, in partnership with all 99 county auditors. Secretary Pate's Office will distribute tablet computers, equipped with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Checklist Program app, to every auditor's office in Iowa. The technology provided by the app will allow county auditors to more easily identify accessible polling locations in all 1,681 precincts across the state.
"We applaud this effort to assist county auditors and election officials to employ the standards in the Americans with Disabilities Act to better evaluate and ensure the accessibility of Iowa's precinct polling places," said Rik Shannon, public policy manager for the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council. "The curb cuts and automatic doors that we all take for granted today were intended by the ADA to give individuals with disabilities greater access to the community. Similarly, this renewed focus on polling place accessibility will benefit not only Iowans with disabilities but all voters."
Polling place accessibility is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Checklist for Polling Places provides guidance to election officials to determine whether a polling place has the basic accessibility features needed by voters with disabilities, or can be made accessible on Election Day. Using the Checklist app form on the tablet allows election officials to easily navigate the checklist and assists in surveying and managing ADA requirements at their polling places.
Features of the app include the ability to take photos of polling place structures, and providing guidance for making temporary accommodations. Additionally, it helps counties with polling place layout, reports, and tracking supply needs for individual polling places.
"I value our partnership with the county auditors and I want every eligible Iowan to cast a ballot. This app will be a valuable tool for election officials to help ensure all 1,681 precincts in the state are accessible for voters with disabilities," Secretary Pate said.
"As Commissioners of Elections, we are concerned about access for all voters to the polling locations within our counties. These tablets will enable county auditors to confirm that each polling site meets the current ADA Standards. This new technology will be very useful in assuring that all voters are treated uniformly at each polling location in each election," said Rhonda Deters, president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors.
The Acer Tablets and ADA Checklist Program app are a continuation of Secretary Pate's "Helping Veterans and Iowans with Disabilities" initiative that is a finalist for the IDEAS Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State. The tablets were paid for with funds from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Election Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities grant.
Sample picture of the first screen of the app