Justice Department Secures Agreements with Texas Counties to Ensure Election Website Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The Justice Department announced today that the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas secured settlement agreements with Colorado County, Runnels County, Smith County and Upton County to resolve the department’s findings that the counties violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by maintaining election websites that discriminate against individuals with vision or manual disabilities.

“Voting in the 21st century requires that officials make their websites accessible to people with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Discriminatory barriers on election websites can prevent people with disabilities from exercising their right to vote. These agreements should send a message to state and local officials across the country about the importance of ensuring that their election websites are accessible for voters with disabilities so that they can participate equally in our democratic process.”

The election websites for these four Texas counties provide essential information about how to vote, such as registration requirements, identification requirements and voting information for people with disabilities. The websites also link to other critical information, including details about early voting and voting on election day.

Under the settlement agreements, the counties agreed to make all future and existing online election content accessible to people with disabilities. The counties also agreed to hire an independent auditor to evaluate the accessibility of their election websites’ content, adopt new policies and training for relevant personnel, provide notice to visitors and users of the websites to solicit comments and requests about any accessibility barriers and designate an employee to coordinate its efforts.

These four investigations are part of the department’s ADA Voting Initiative, which safeguards the voting rights of individuals with disabilities. To read more about the ADA and how it applies to voting, please visit www.ada.gov/topics/voting/. These settlement agreements also are part of the Civil Rights Division’s Tech Equity Initiative to combat disability discrimination that occurs through technology such as websites and mobile apps.

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/720957914/justice-department-secures-agreements-with-texas-counties-to-ensure-election-website-accessibility-for-people-with-disabilities

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