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Judge Wants Answers From NYC On Handicapped Voting

A man votes at a public school - New York, NY - Nov 2, 2010 (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - Federal Judge Deborah Batts said she sees improvements in the city’s efforts to make polling places accessible to disabled people, but she’s not yet satisfied.

WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell On The Story

After this Thursday’s primary, she wants a full report on how the worst 37 to 47 polling places in the city did.

Paula Wolfe, who is wheelchair-bound and visually impaired, said she relies on a ballot marking device and, sometimes, she says, that’s a problem.

“My polling site is held… happens to be in a Housing and Urban Development building, which is for people who are blind and mobility impaired, and at one of the elections there was only one ballot marking device and there were hundreds of people in the building who use the device. It was broken,” she told WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit over which Batts is presiding want one person at each polling place to be responsible for a disable access.

A city lawyer says new plans are in place to improve access for those with disabilities.

He says coordinators at more than 1,300 polling sites will check periodically to ensure there are no problems. He says polling workers have been given 20-step instructions to ensure the Americans with Disabilities Act is followed.

In August, Batts ruled in favor of two groups representing the disabled: the United Spinal Association and Disabled In Action.

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