A federal judge has told officials he is considering an independent review of the Houston area’s polling locations to ensure they are accessible to disabled voters. The possible action by U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett is part of an ongoing lawsuit the U.S. Department of Justice filed last year, the Houston Chronicle reported. The lawsuit accuses Harris County, where Houston is located, of violating the constitutional mandate that voting sites comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. At a court hearing Friday, Bennett discussed the possibility of appointing a special master to oversee the review. No decision has yet been made.
“We’re talking about something that really needs an intensive review,” Bennett said during the hearing. “We’re going to have to look at almost each of these sites or on a site-by-site basis.”
The lawsuit alleges that there is a lack of appropriate parking, ramps, sidewalks, entry ways, voting space and other mandatory accommodations for disabled voters.
Harris County, Texas’s most populous county, has more than 400,000 people with disabilities.