7 responses to “I’m Disabled and I Vote”

  1. Astrid

    It was only very recently, in the UK general election, that I heard of accessible paper ballots for the blind. As far as I know, we don’t have those in the Netherlands. I have always had someone t o vote for me, although I’m always present when they cast my vote and tell them whom to vote for. It’s enraging if you look at it.

  2. Amadi

    My voting place is a mess. The owners of the facility will not allow the door that wheelchair or scooter users could access to be opened on election day. The interior setup is hostile to all people, but even more for people of size or using canes or other mobility aids. On the rare occasions that there is a line, voters are directly denied use of the many chairs available right there in the waiting area, on the grounds that the facility has not included use of chairs by voters in their agreement for use of their space (for which they are paid, well enough to cease normal business operations those two days a year). The workers are condescending to people who need help with the voting machines, and overall it feels like more of a chore than the exciting exercise it ought to be.

    As a woman and a person of color, I take the right to vote especially seriously. It irritates me that no one seems to care about the physical barriers that are keeping people from the polls. In order to vote absentee in Pennsylvania, you have to sign an affidavit that you’re physically incapable of entering your assigned polling place. I fear my ballot being challenged or thrown out as a case of fraud because I can go to my poll, it’s just incredibly difficult. Similarly, my mother can vote on the new electronic machines that we have, but with her visual impairments, it’s an iffy and painstaking process. It’s too important to me to run that risk.

  3. Norah

    I think most places to vote here are pretty inaccessible, though the nearest one to us is in a care home for elderly people and so somewhat more accessible than other places I’ve voted in, regarding actually getting into the building and the room they’re voting in (not regarding the voting room and the booths themselves etc). I also didn’t find the instructions really sufficient, and I was far more stressed out than I had to be on June 9th this year.

  4. The Untoward Lady

    I vote and last election I stuck my “I voted” sticker on my purse. It’s still there. I placed it there so that people would know that even though I am the way I am I still vote, my voice still matters, and that I’m a person with every bit of rights that anyone else has!

    Earlier today I was thinking about my sticker on my purse and I had a sobering thought: Most people who meet me on the street when my tics don’t see a sentient human being. Most people, I feel, when they do consider the possibility that I’m a human being consider me some kind of grown-up child. I’m sure that many people when they see my “I voted” sticker on my purse don’t look at me and think “that woman voted,” I feel they look at me and think “someone very nice in her life must have given her that sticker to make her feel good!”

  5. cim

    The Polls Apart report on the accessibility of the recent UK election is well worth a read. Unsurprisingly, jady_lady’s experience was fairly typical, and there were numerous other failures to make both polling stations and postal votes even minimally accessible.

  6. Jordan Opalanie

    I never have experienced having problems with voting, as I am an ambulatory, hearing, sighted persyn, however, having Aspergers might trigger issues in a more crowded polling place. That’s why I do absentee ballots (in New Jersey, you don’t need a reason).

  7. UnAttributableSpoon

    In my state, there are plenty of barriers to the disabled in voting situations. We’re really behind the times compared to the majority of the rest of the nation (I live in Wyoming), and people are just beginning to realize that not all diabilities are visible. I’m chronically ill, among other things, and sometimes use a cane. I have a disabled parking tag as well. I can’t count all the times I’ve been shouted at or treated poorly for parking in disabled spaces because I don’t “look sick”.

    That’s why voting is often a stressful and trying even for me. There is no seating for waiting, and I don’t quite meet the criteria for needing assistance. I’m kind of in-between I guess.

    Sorry, it’s late and I can’t sleep; I’m rambling here. Our ballots are simple and easy. We just use a special marker and color in the bubble of the canidate of our choice. Certainly avoids the issues with hanging chads and unverifiable electronic votes.
    Also, I would love to know where the man in the picture got his t-shirt, as I’d love to have one of my own!