TEXAS — Just one day before Election Day on Nov. 7, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report that determined the election websites for four Texas counties are not up to par with accessibility standards.
According to the DOJ, the election websites for Colorado, Runnels, Smith and Upton counties violate Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “by maintaining election websites that discriminate against individuals with vision or manual disabilities.”
The department detailed its findings and sent them in letters to each county.
“Voting is fundamental to American democracy,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “It is imperative that all eligible voters with disabilities across the country have the information they need to access the ballot and exercise their right to vote in state and federal elections.”
Some of the department’s findings include:
- Menus and links not functioning properly for people using a keyboard
- Posted documents not being accessible for people who use assistive technologies
- Lack of proper language attributes for text in Spanish for those who use assistive technology
- Low color contrast hiding content from people with certain vision disabilities
- Hidden links
“Because the election websites are inaccessible, the counties deny people with vision and manual disabilities equal access to election programs and online services provided through these websites and fail to ensure effective communication with people with disabilities,” the DOJ said in a statement.
In its reports, the DOJ gave each county a list of remedial measures they can take to make their sites more accessible. If counties don’t comply, the department says it can take “appropriate measures” to enforce the ADA.
The investigations into the four websites were part of the DOJ’s ADA Voting Initiative, which focuses on protecting the voting rights of those with disabilities.