Broward and Palm Beach County voters can rest easy. Elections supervisors in the two counties say they won’t implement the restroom ban imposed by Miami-Dade County. In the state’s most populous county, voters who need to go while waiting to vote aren’t allowed to do so. The media office at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department didn’t respond to a request for information about the rule. But it’s detailed by county officials in email exchanges with a disability rights lawyer. “It’s absolutely stunning,” said Marc Dubin director of advocacy for the Center for Independent Living of South Florida, which serves people with disabilities in Miami-Dade County. He’s a former senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was responsible for ADA enforcement. “It is a current policy of the Department of Elections. It’s in effect right now,” Dubin said.
It is not a policy in the state’s second- and third-most populous counties, said Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher. “Anybody who’s at that site is able to come in and use the bathroom,” Bucher said.
Snipes and Bucher are both elected. In Miami-Dade County, the supervisor of elections is an appointed official who is one of the county mayor’s department heads.
Miami-Dade County’s Elections Department implemented the restroom denial policy for everyone after advocates for the disabled sought to ensure that all polling place facilities were accessible to people with disabilities.