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Mary is a Sydneysider, a mother, a feminist activist for women in tech, and an erstwhile computer scientist. She co-founded a women-in-tech non-profit, the Ada Initiative, where she presently works. Mary also writes for Geek Feminism, and, when there's no other suitable venue, for her own blog puzzling.org.

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8 responses to “Polling place accessibility and the NSW state election”

  1. Mindy

    Highschool – Assisted access, no designated parking spot, no disabled toilet (at a school, really bad) path of travel from carpark may be difficult.

    Memorial Hall – building has steps and or lips. Doesn’t mention that there is only one disabled spot near the building and that has a gutter to negotiate. Other spots are around the corner but easier to get onto the footpath from. Doesn’t mention that disabled toilet is around the back of the hall and may not have access from within the hall, i.e. so you don’t have to go back out the front, down the side and around to the back to access the toilet. It is all flat ground, but if you can’t walk a great distance it is a reasonable way. Doesn’t mention that there is no seating, although from memory people have requested and been able to be seated in the past. There is usually a booth designed for use by people using wheelchairs. Doesn’t mention that hall way people are funnelled down after voting, so as not to get mixed up with people coming in, is narrow and can be difficult to negotiate.

  2. tigtog

    My closest polling place (approx 500m) is really poor for disabled access – no designated parking, queuing is on the street outside (there is a brick wall for seating at a pinch), steep steps down to the hall from the street.

    The electorate as a whole has eight “Fully Wheelchair Accessible” locations and seven “Assisted Access” locations – the closest “Fully” accessible location is about 800m away in the opposite direction.

  3. Jo Tamar

    My closest polling place (~700m) also not good for accessibility. I didn’t see any designated parking; entry and exit were up stairs, the queue was inside when not too long, but any more than about 10 people and it was outside and down the stairs. There were a couple of chairs in the short hallway where the queue was, but the low soft type (with no arms) which would be difficult to sit down into or get up out of.

  4. masealake

    [Comment content deleted as off-topic - it didn't address accessibility issues at all. Please find a NSW election thread where your comment will be on-topic. ~ Moderator]

  5. masealake

    [comment content yet again deleted for having nothing to do with polling place accessibility - find a thread where your comment IS on topic and leave it there ~ moderator]

  6. MK

    I voted at my little brother’s primary school. There was a queue of about two and a half lengths of the voting hall at max, anyone in it would at best have been able to sit down for the thirty seconds it took their place to pass some picnic tables, and half of it was in the open, so when it started raining while I was waiting there was a lot of improvised line-moving that ended up putting people in the narrow space between said picnic tables and the wall. This meant we had to shuffle a bit and get a guy in a wheelchair to cut ahead of that whole loop in the line because there was no way he would’ve fit through there. Nobody was too inconvenienced, though, obviously I wouldn’t know if anyone in the line was suffering from standing up for that long but at least the wheelchair was able to get in at all. It would have been fine if the queue was shorter.

    I don’t know anything about the other polling places in my electorate, I’ve only ever voted in one other one and I seem to recall that was much worse for wheelchairs in terms of narrow spaces, but I wasn’t paying attention to anything else.

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