AUG - 8 1996 Ms. Janet F. Clair Director Lake County Board of Elections P.O.

Box 490 Painesville, Ohio 44077-0490 Re: DOJ Complaint # Dear Ms. Clair: This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to the allegations received by this office concerning a violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by the Lake County Board of Elections (Board). Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ​ 12131-12134, prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the programs, services and activities of State and local governments on the basis of disability. The complainant had alleged that, although it had been customary to access the polling place at the McKinley School building through ground level double doors on the side of the building, on Election Day 1994, those doors were closed. It is further alleged that this situation required persons with mobility impairments to utilize an indirect route through a back entrance of the building that was locked during voting hours. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of this complaint. We have reviewed the material submitted by both the Board and the complainant. Our investigation focused on the question of whether the Board discriminated against persons with disabilities by failing to ensure that the voting process was accessible to individuals with mobility impairments. On the day before Election Day 1994, there was a fatal shooting at a school in a district that is adjacent to that of the McKinley School. On the day following the shooting, the principal of the McKinley School adopted a new security policy whereby only the front door of the school building would remain unlocked. This front door is not accessible to persons with mobility impairments. Accordingly, when the complainant arrived there to vote, the complainant had to wait for someone to open an accessible entrance to the building.

Although the McKinley School polling site temporarily was not accessible, the Board took prompt action to ensure that persons with mobility impairments would have access to the voting process. Once the Board had become aware of this situation at the McKinley School, it sent representatives to the site in order to verify that the accessible entrances were unlocked. Additionally, the Board contacted the school superintendent for 01-00429 that district to notify him of the situation that had occurred and to remind him that accessible entrances at all polling sites must remain unlocked during voting hours. The WilloughbyEastlake School District administration then assured the Board that they would notify their staff concerning this issue. The Board has provided copies of letters that it has used to notify those parties who are responsible for the supervision of polling sites that each site must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Based on the information given above, we find that the Board did not violate the ADA with respect to the issues alleged in the Complaint. As a result of our determination, we have closed our investigation of this complaint. If the complainant is dissatisfied with these findings, the complainant may file a private suit in the appropriate United States District Court under title II. Our findings are limited to the allegations raised in the complaint and do not address other potential claims of discrimination on the basis of disability that may arise from the activities of the Board, We appreciate the cooperation of the Board during the course of this investigation. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Bill Shiraki at (202) 305-1118. Sincerely,

Bruce Friedman Supervisory Attorney Disability Rights Section Civil Rights Division

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