Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Responds to Federal Lawsuit Alleging ADA Violations and Discrimination Against Voters with Disabilities
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan responds to the Federal Lawsuit alleging ADA violations and discrimination against voters with disabilities.
Providing fair, accessible, and transparent voting services to the voters of Los Angeles County is the mission of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and has been the bedrock of the County’s Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) voting model. The County has a long history of active engagement with the disability rights community and partnered directly with voters with disabilities in the design and development of its voting services. This action by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is not reflective of that work and engagement.
The County became aware of the possibility of this lawsuit last month and has been actively working in good faith to reach an agreement with the DOJ for enhanced assessment and mitigation of physical barriers at Vote Centers alleged to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Unfortunately, the DOJ abruptly abandoned those discussions and advanced their lawsuit.
“I am disheartened by this action despite our good faith efforts to reach agreement on a reasonable settlement. The assertions made in the media release do not reflect the voting model or service delivery provided by Los Angeles County,” said Dean Logan, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. “That said, we remain committed to addressing accessibility issues in an equitable and effective manner and will be vigilant in preserving the extensive work the County has done to improve access to voting, broadly, and specifically for voters with disabilities and other specific needs.”
Los Angeles County is proud to offer one of the most inclusive and expansive voting programs anywhere in the nation—with an extended voting period, vote centers, and ballot drop boxes that offer late-night and even overnight voting opportunities. Because of our expansion beyond the traditional voting model, we need to site voting locations broadly across the County—including in sites that we do not control or operate.
Many of the issues cited deal with the physical layout, parking, and cross slope on sidewalks or walkways approaching locations used for in-person voting. The County is challenged in meeting the requirements to ensure equitable distribution of voting locations across the County in facilities that meet all the ADA requirements or where mitigations can be put in place to facilitate access. Significant effort and resources are already expended in this regard. The County disputes the findings and allegations asserted by the DOJ. Unfortunately, this action could result in a reduction in services and access for communities that have less resources to invest in infrastructure.
“We will continue to seek resolution of this matter in a manner that advances improved accessibility and that ensures equity and fairness in the distribution and availability of voting locations for all voters,” said Logan.