I love voting! I’ve been doing so since I turned eighteen. I vote in every election rather it’s general, primary or special.
When I was younger, I would go to my polling location to cast my vote. It was just something about the hustle and bustle that got me hyped. To see all the people letting their voices be heard in hopes for a better tomorrow is very inspiring.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed, my patience is not what they used to be. Sometimes waiting in a long line in-order to vote just doesn’t float my boat anymore. Now, I vote absentee; it’s much easier for me. Although I love voting absentee and have been for the past twelve or so years, one downfall I never liked is the need for assistance feeling out the ballot due to my physical disability.
When people have to help you do something, often they tend to put their two cents in about how they think, which includes; who they think you should vote for or levies and issues they think should or shouldn’t pass. I don’t think they mean any harm but it’s just a natural reaction. Voting is a private thing. It should be kept to yourself unless you chose to share and most of all it’s a personal/civil right. Hate to admit it, but still in today’s society some view people with disabilities as children who are incapable of making their own voting decisions.
I’m excited for voting this year because I recently found out, while participating in the SABE GO VOTERS PROJECT through collaboration with Disability Rights Ohio, there’s a way I can mark my own absentee ballot independently!
Did you know one can request an electronic absentee ballot that will allow one to fill it out over the computer?
As far as Ohio goes, if you go to the state Secretary of State’s website, click on elections, voters, and then choose voters with disabilities, you’ll be at the electronic request form. After skimming through, you should find a link for a form that states “Application for Absent Voter’s by Voter with a Disability & Request to Use Remote Ballot Marking System”. After clicking on the form, choose the button to send your ballot electronically, but make sure you enter your email address, and then you are ready to go. From there print and mail the completed form to the board of elections, then you’ll have to wait for an email with an absentee ballot attached to appear in your inbox so you can vote.
For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the program that supplies the ballot is compatible with screen reading technology.
Now, I was hoping once the ballot was completed, one would have the accessibility of emailing it back but we haven’t got there yet. You’ll still have to print the form out and mail it back in. Your ballot is accompanied with two envelopes that has hole punches indicating where you sign. That’s another accommodation feature.
This may not be the perfect solution to my absentee dilemma but it sure will help. I can’t wait to cast my vote on November 5th. I hope by sharing this information it helps others who are in the same predicament as me. Please pass this information along and if you want to vote absentee, you’re within the window to request one (ninety days before election) and you need to mail it three days prior to the election. Don’t forget, people with disabilities’ vote count too, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to let your voice be heard.