SEP 10 1993 RE: Complaint Number Dear Mr.

: This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to your complaint filed with our office on January 11, 1993 against the Orangeburg County (South Carolina) Voter Registration and Election Commission (Commission) under title IT of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability by State and local governments. Specifically, you allege that your polling place in Livingston, South Carolina, is inaccessible to persons with mobility impairments. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of your complaint. Our investigation revealed that the State of South Carolina requires that when a voter with a mobility impairment is unable to enter the polling place because it is inaccessible, two managers take the voting list and the voter's ballot to the voter in his or her vehicle. The voter is allowed to park the vehicle in the closest available parking area. After marking the ballot, the voter folds the ballot in half and gives it to a manager, who deposits it in the ballot box. The Commission has advised us that it follows these procedures in all of its elections. Title II of the ADA, which applies to public entities (State and local governments), requires "program access," rather than "facility access," for buildings and facilities existing on the effective date. A public entity must operate each program, service, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable

cc: Records, CRS, Chrono, King, Kaltenborn, Payne, Keenan, Breen, FIOA, Friedlander:dhj T. 8/20/93 revised:8/23/93 9/l/10/93 udd:Kingllld\LOF.XXX

01-00096 -2by individuals with disabilities, but is not necessarily required to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. 35.150 [the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II, 28 C.F.R. pt. 35, a copy of which is enclosed]. Removal of architectural barriers is one method of providing access to programs and activities in existing facilities, but other methods are also permitted if they provide program access. The "curbside" voting procedure followed by the Commission meets the requirement for program accessibility because it provides an equal opportunity for voters with disabilities to cast their ballots on the day of the election. If you are aware of instances when the Commission has failed to follow its procedures for curbside voting, or otherwise has denied you or another individual with a disability the opportunity to vote, you may file a complaint concerning that particular incident with our office. Based upon our determination that the commission's procedures for curbside voting meet the requirements of title II, we are closing your complaint as of the date of this letter. If you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file a private complaint in the appropriate United States District Court under title II of the ADA. You should be aware that no one may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or engage in other discriminatory conduct against anyone

who has either taken action or participated in an action to secure rights protected by the ADA. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with the Department of Justice. We would investigate such a complaint if the situation warrants. 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 this 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 privacy.

01-00097 -3Please use the Department of Justice complaint number in all correspondence and other communications regarding this complaint. If you have any questions, please contact Linda King at [202] 307-2231. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section

Civil Rights Division Enclosure

01-00098

SEP 10 1993

Mr. Earl L. Whelan Director Orangeburg County Voter Registration and Election Commission P.O. Box 9000 Orangeburg, South Carolina 29116 RE: Complaint Number XXXX Dear Mr. Whelan: This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to the complaint filed with our office against the Orangeburg County (South Carolina) Voter Registration and Election commission (Commission) under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability by State and local governments. As Linda King of my staff explained to you in a telephone conversation, the complainant alleges that the polling place in Livingston, South Carolina, is inaccessible to persons with mobility impairments. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of the complaint. Our investigation revealed that the State of South Carolina requires that when a voter with a mobility impairment is unable to enter the polling place because it is inaccessible, two managers take the voting list and the voter's ballot to the voter in his or her vehicle. The voter is allowed to park the vehicle in the closest available parking area. After marking the ballot, the voter folds the ballot in half and gives it to a manager, who deposits it in the ballot box. The Commission has stated that it follows these procedures in all its elections. Title II of the ADA, which applies to public entities (State and local governments) , requires "program access," rather than

cc: Records, CRS, chrono, King, Kaltenborn, Payne, Keenan:dhj Friedlander, Breen, FOIA T. 6/l/93 revised: 6/29/7/12/9 udd\Kingllld\LOFVOT.SC revised: 8/23/93 9/l/93

01-00099 -2 "facility access," for buildings and facilities existing on the effective date. A public entity must operate each program, service, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, but is not necessarily required to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. 35.150 [the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II, 28 C.F.R. pt. 35 [copy enclosed]]. Removal of architectural barriers is one method of providing access to programs and activities in existing facilities, but other methods are also permitted if they provide program access. The "curbside" voting procedure followed by the Commission meets the requirement for program accessibility because it provides an equal opportunity for voters with disabilities to cast their ballots on the day of the election. You should be aware, however, that your curbside voting procedure is a permissible alternative only if it is an effective method of providing access to the program or activity. Thus, if the Commission failed to follow its procedures for curbside voting, or otherwise denied an individual with a disability the opportunity to vote, it would be in violation of title II and an individual could file a complaint concerning that particular incident with our office. You should be aware that no one may intimidate, threaten,

coerce, or engage in other discriminatory conduct against anyone who has either taken action or participated in an action to secure rights protected by the ADA. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with the Department of Justice. We would investigate such a complaint if the situation warrants. 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 this 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 privacy. Based upon our determination that the Commission's procedures for curbside voting meet the requirements of title II, we are closing or files in this matter as of the date of this

01-00100 -3letter. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Linda King at [202] 307-2231. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section

Civil Rights Division Enclosure