Mohave County Fails to Accommodate Voter on Election Day. ADCL Files Complaints with Arizona Secretary of State, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and U.S. Department of Justice.
The Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL) filed multiple complaints against Mohave County, Arizona, on behalf of Michael Lipshultz, a resident of Bullhead City and a person with a disability, for the County’s alleged failure to accommodate him at his polling place on Election Day last November.
When Mr. Lipshultz arrived at his polling place on the morning of Election Day, November 8, 2016, a long voting line had already formed. Mr. Lipshultz informed the poll worker that he had a disability and would be unable to stand in a long line, or sit in the metal chair offered, for an extended period. The poll worker offered Mr. Lipshultz curbside voting, but when he brought his car to the designated location, no one from the polling site came out to provide Mr. Lipshultz with a ballot. Mr. Lipshultz waited, and repeatedly called the Mohave County Elections Department to seek their assistance, but ultimately had to leave his polling site after approximately 40-45 minutes without casting his vote.
Specifically, the ACDL filed the following voting rights complaints: 1) Help America Vote Act, filed with the Arizona Secretary of State; 2) Arizona Civil Rights Act, filed with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office; 3) Americans with Disabilities Act, filed with the United States Department of Justice. In general, the complaints state that Mohave County utilized inaccessible voting practices and failed to accommodate Mr. Lipshultz, leading to his exclusion from the voting process and disenfranchisement on Election Day.
Mr. Lipshultz has come forward publicly in the hopes that any other voters that believe they were wrongfully denied access to voting will also come forward and a make their cases known. The ACDL wishes for voters with disabilities to be aware of the options available to enforce their rights if they are denied equal voting opportunities in an election. The three laws under which ACDL has filed complaints for Mr. Lipshultz, the Help America Vote Act, the Arizona Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, all contain voting rights protections that can be enforced without filing a lawsuit.
The Arizona Center for Disability Law is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals with a wide range of physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory and intellectual disabilities. If you have questions about this issue, or have encountered barriers to voting, please contact us by phone at (602) 274-6287, (800) 92201447 (Toll Free), or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Maya Abela, Staff Attorney
Arizona Center for Disability Law