"First, is (the club) easily found or on a main thoroughfare?" Fleming asked. "No," she responded. "It is tucked back on the corner of Ford and Warren streets."
"Is it ADA compliant?" she continued. "Not according to these photos," she responded, "with a broken wooden (handicap) ramp and gravel parking lot located diagonally across the street from the building."
Fleming presented as evidence a number of photos showing the handicap ramp outside the club and a portion of the sidewalk surrounding the parking lot in disrepair. The photos also showed a sewer drain in front of the only curb cut leading to the building.
On the subject of eletioneering, "The name on the building automatically implies support for the Democratic Party," Fleming said. "Its name can intimidate and confuse voters who may be considering voting Republican. These people may wonder if they can even enter, or if they have to vote Democrat if they do.
"Also, the mural image on the side of the building of President Obama definitely expresses support for a specific candidate," she continued. The image, which, until Monday, had been been on the building for some time, included the message, "Vote Hope."
Fleming suggested the board consider St. Adalbert Parish, about five blocks west on Olive Street, as a more appropriate polling location for voters in the 617th Precinct, noting that it "meets most, if not all, of the requirements the Election Board would prefer for polling locations."
Responding preemptively to the claim that moving the polls to that location now, mid-election year, would confuse confuse voters, Fleming noted that the Election Board made multiple polling place changes at its last meeting, affecting thousands of potential voters, and "yet there was no concern about these people having issues finding their new polling place."
People develop routines when it comes to voting," State Sen. John Broden said, "and the West Side Democratic Club has been a polling place since Harry Truman was running for election."
He said that, in his opinion, "before we move a polling place, there has to be some reason aside from the title on the building, because I think it insults the intelligence of the voter ... to think that somehow, just because the title of the polling place happens to contain 'Democratic,' you can't go in there and vote for who you want to vote for."In other words, we've been breaking the law for years so why should we change now. The tin ear Democrats have to corruption on the conduct of our election knows no bounds. They will jump up and down screaming that voters are disenfranchised because you ask them to present a photo ID in order to cast a vote. Yet they see nothing wrong with forcing voters to cast their votes at a Democratic headquarters with the party's name and candidate emblazoned on it that's off the beaten path and not accessible to the handicap. The Democratic-controlled election board voted 2-1 to keep the illegal polling site.