[NFBMO] Accessible Voting Discussion Continued
sbwright95 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 06:55:01 UTC 2018
I think one of the reasons I have always avoided absentee voting is that one
had to provide justification as to why they could not vote on election day.
It seemed to me that disabled people were automatically approved because
there was an assumption that we couldn't participate like others or that
somehow it was a great hardship for us to do so. Of course, there were other
circumstances that were approved but a reason had to be provided.
Over time, many states have gone to early voting or have opened up absentee
voting (removing the need to justify why you need to vote early). Accessible
voting is still required.
As for the traditional absentee mail ballot, I do not know whether it is
open to everyone . However, it does not meet my needs as it does not allow
me to cast a private ballot. I voted for many years using poll judges or a
reader. I don't really want to go back to that. I am willing to be
inconvenienced if necessary in hopes that it will help our needs be
addressed however future election trends develop. I don't want blind and
disabled people's needs to be an afterthought or for us to be left behind
without any thought at all.
Readers of this post may or may not agree with me but we rarely overcome any
type of discrimination by following the most convenient or most expedient
thing at the moment.
I am so glad that in the past eighteen months, our county has started having
the accessible machines at all elections. It has helped poll workers to be
more proficient in setting up the machine. It has helped me be more
proficient at navigating the ballot. I don't expect it too always go as
smoothly as it did last week and I can't be sure that every blind voter
throughout the county had a positive experience but there has certainly been
progress here in Platte County and the Platte County Board of Elections
knows about the advocacy work of the NFB. It also helps that the newer
machines are much easier to set-up, program, and use. By the way, Missouri
was among the first to apply and receive the additional funding last spring.
Shelia Wright, President
National Federation of the Blind of Missouri
7928 NW Milrey Drive, Kansas City, MO 64152
President at nfbmo.org <mailto:President at nfbmo.org>
The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends
who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. Every day we work
together to help blind people live the lives they want.
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