By all means, folks, soak up the last of the summer sun! Hit the ballpark, go to the music festival, eat al fresco, and even try flyboarding until you are so satiated from the season you can do no more than fritter away your time lying prone on the beach.
Go ahead. Take a nap, why don’t you? Of course you’re tired from your frenetic pre-Fall pace, and it’s not even technically Fall, yet. Right?
Wrong. At this point in time, it’s pretty much a given that if you choose to take that nap, your well-deserved repose will be interrupted by the nagging sense that you should be thinking about your future. Specifically, your Election Day future. Because, let’s face it. Somewhere in the back of your mind, underneath all of those memories you’ve hashtagged #BESTSUMMEREVER, you know it’s “go time” to plan for the most important day of your professional year.
“Go time,” that is, if you’re part of the special ops team known as “Elections Officials.” And no, you’re not extended special ops credentials for un-boxing a couple of voting booths on November 7.
Special ops credentials go to those Elections Officials who understand their polling place venue and the voters who visit. These talented men and women make a plan and execute said plan, warding off any potential threats to Election Day success, including accessibility. The Elections Officials’ field manual is none other than the U.S. Department of Justice’s “ADA Checklist for Polling Place Accessibility,” and their motto is, “Assess and address.” The checklist highlights nine categories of basic accessibility features necessary for voters with disabilities, and includes a list of helpful tools for conducting an accessibility review. Categories include:
- Passenger drop-off areas
- Exterior routes to accessible entrances
- Polling place entrances
- Routes from entrances into voting areas
- Voting areas
So now is the time to flex those special ops muscles and start preparing, implementing, and testing your polling place. With the ADA Checklist for Polling Place Accessibility in hand, Election Day will come off without a hitch and voter turnout among the disabled community will reach an all time high.
Oh – and that nap? It’s all yours come November 9. Sweet dreams!