For almost a year, the U. S. Department of Justice has been studying whether Hamilton County polling places, all 361 of them, are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Department and attorney Matt Horowitz say 40 locations are in violation, mostly because of slope issues from the parking lot to the building. Twenty-two involve public buildings, two are nursing homes and 16 are privately owned.
Chair of the Board of Elections Tim Burke says he was surprised at the number, given the regular review of ADA requirements by his staff and the Ohio Secretary of State's Office.
"Sometimes it's a challenge in Mt. Adams, for example. It's hard to find a level place and that's an issue." Burke says, "We've got to do what we can to comply with ADA but also to keep polling places in the area where the voters are, so a voter isn't driving five miles to get to another polling place."
Burke says he isn't aware that anybody has complained.
According to board member Alex Triantafilou, "The good news for us is that the Justice Department has indicated a willingness to work cooperatively with us before any action is taken. We have agreed to work cooperatively with them. Perhaps they can help us identify some resources to help us solve the problem."
The Board of Elections doesn't own any of the buildings where people vote.
Here's a list of non-compliant locations: