# 56 II-3.

3000 February 5, 1993

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918

Dear Ms. XXXXXXXXX: This letter constitutes the Department of Justice's Letter of Findings in response to your complaint filed with our office on August 3, 1992, against the State of Colorado under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Your complaint alleges that the State of Colorado requires that all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, who wish to vote absentee, must apply for an absentee ballot before each election. You state that you are unable to go to the polling place because of your disability and must use an absentee ballot. (You did not allege that your polling place is inaccessible, and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder alleges that all polling places are accessible and that the Election Judges can bring the voting unit outside to the voter's car to assist an individual with a disability.) You allege that it is unfair that you must apply for an absentee ballot before each election. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of your complaint. Our investigation revealed that Colorado recently amended its absentee ballot law. The revised law permits an individual to file one application at the beginning of the year for absentee ballots for all of the elections to be held during the year.(1-8-103 (1) and (4), Colorado Revised Statutes, 1980 Repl. Vol., as amended) Section 35.149 of the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II (28 C.F.R. pt. 35) states that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be

subjected to discrimination by any public entity because the public entity's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities. Your complaint, however, alleges that you are unable to vote at the poll because you are unable to go to the poll, rather than because your polling place is inaccessible. The procedures utilized by the State of Colorado provide an equal opportunity to participate in elections for all individuals who are unable to get to the polling places. Acordingly, the Colorado staute does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities and does not violate title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This letter constitutes our letter of findings with respect to your allegations of discrimination in your administrative complaint. If you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file a private complaint in the United States District Court under title II of the ADA. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 522, we may be required to release this letter and other correspondence and records related to your complaint in response to a request from a third party. Should we receive such a request, we will safeguard, to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, the release of information which could constitute an unwarranted invasion of your or other's privacy. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division cc: Donetta Davidson, Elections Officer