Perry-Castañeda Library no longer a campus polling location, replaced with LBJ School of Public Affairs

Koshik Mahapatra, General news reporter

During a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting on Oct. 11, county officials explained that the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT will no longer serve as an early or regular voting location during this year’s midterm elections because it does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

The Travis County Clerk’s Office is under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to make sure that all of the county’s voting locations are compliant with ADA, said Brigid Shea, member of the Travis County Commissioners Court, at the meeting. Earlier this year, the DOJ announced that over 50 of the polling locations the county had used during the 2020 primary election, including the PCL, contained architectural or equipment barriers for voters with disabilities, and thus could not be used in the future unless they added temporary measures to ensure accessibility.  

In place of the PCL, Travis County clerk Rebecca Guerrero said a new polling location with 12 voting machines will open at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Elise De La Fuente, a government sophomore and member of Student Government who spoke at the meeting, said moving polling from the PCL to LBJ complicates voting for many students on campus because it leaves only one major polling site in their vicinity.

“The PCL and the FAC have been the two major polling sites which makes sense because… (they are) the two major places that cover big chunks of UT’s main campus,” said De La Fuente. “It just seems impractical to be moving the polling to LBJ … (which) is about a one-mile walk from the main campus. Most students don’t have the time or energy — or even know where LBJ is — to be making the trek over there.”  

In 2018, there were nine machines each at the PCL and Flawn Academic Center and in 2020, a new polling location with nine additional machines opened at Texas Hillel on San Antonio Street just off campus. This year, three more machines will be added at the FAC, for a total of 36 stations around campus, said Guerrero.

“The message we want to convey very clearly is this is not an effort to in any way limit the ability of students or the regular public to access voting places,” Shea said. “It’s because the Department of Justice told us that the standard locations in these cases that we’re talking about were not acceptable and didn’t meet the law -– the legal requirements of the ADA.”

Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 24 through Nov. 4. 


On campus polling locations are:

  • Flawn Academic Center
    • 2304 Whitis Ave, Austin, TX 78712 
  • LBJ School South Lobby
    • 2315 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705 

Off campus: 

  • Texas Hillel
    • 2105 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705