GAB Report Details Obstacles to Voting

Every odd-numbered year the Government Accountably Board GAB) releases a report detailing the results of its audit of polling place accessibility. The latest report, Impediments Faced by Elderly Voters and Voters with Disabilities, finds that Wisconsin’s polling places are becoming more accessible, but that some people with disabilities and the elderly still face significant obstacles when they vote.

The data compiled for the current report comes from 1,614 polling place audits that the GAB conducted during 16 elections over the past three years. During this time period, 921 municipalities have been visited in 66 of the 72 Wisconsin counties. Over 10,000 accessibility problems have been identified by the audit program, for an average of 6.5 problems per polling place. A significant number of these problems are considered high severity problems, meaning that these barriers would likely prevent a voter with a disability from entering a polling place and casting a private and independent ballot. Of the remaining problems, an estimated 40 percent of these issues can be remedied by little to no cost solutions.