We Won’t Discuss It

On to my chosen topic for today: politics!

there-are-three-things-i-have-learned-never-to-discuss-with-people-religion-politics-and-the-great-quote-1
“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people…religion, politics, and The Great Pumpkin.” Charles Schultz.

Moan, groan, half of the Yanks (and Rebs?) reading this just shut down. I know. I am tired of the nonsense, too. Problem is, this is the system we have and I have yet to hear of anything that is better (almost said that trumps! Oh, Lawd….) than democracy. Or actually we have a republic, but this is not civics class, so I digress again.

My point – return to your point, Sue! – is this: losing your vision does not mean you lose your rights! You have the right to cast your vote privately and independently regardless of your disability.

Your right to a private and independent way to vote was affirmed in a 2013 case with Alameda County, California as the defendant. Apparently their handicapped accessible voting machine broke down. People were denied their rights and they complained.

Now, I have to admit to being behind in knowing the latest in voting machine technology. Apparently there are voting machines that read the on-screen ballot information to you via headphones. You vote by means of tactile controls. Contact your local elections office to see if your area has the appropriate technology. You might also want to let them know you are coming so they can find the headphones that came with the machine! Since you have the right to have the accessible voting features explained to you, calling ahead will also give them time to find the manual and learn how to use it themselves. Remember a good many of these folks are volunteers and be kind.

Remember as well you have a right to a helper of your choice in the voting booth with you. If neither of these options work, you have a right to apply for an absentee ballot. That way you can put the ballot on your CCTV or magnify it with your tablet and put it on the TV screen. Lots of ways to exercise your rights as a citizen.

The Jennigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind appears to be an advocacy group for the promotion of research and understanding of blindness and visual impairment. They are proponents for full inclusion of the visually handicapped in all aspects of life. This includes voting. For example, in 2010 the Jennigan Institute hosted a seminar for election officials to introduce them to the accessible technology we have already discussed. You might want to check out some of their other offerings.

So there you have it. You can still exercise your right to vote. Now you get to try to decide whom to vote for. Oh, Lawd.

Next: WHAT?

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