In my post the other day, I made mention of the disappointing lack of accessible voting machines in the upcoming federal election. Yes, yet again blind folks are stuck with nothing but that metal dealy with the braille numbers on it and our capacity to hope for the best. But as Carin just pointed out to me, that stupid numbery thing will be slightly more useful than usual this year.
Braille lists of candidates
On election day, each polling place will have a Braille list of
candidates that you can use with the tactile and Braille voting template
The Braille list reproduces the names of the candidates and their
political affiliation in the same order as they appear on the ballot.
The candidates’ names have numbers that match the embossed and Braille
numbers on the voting template.
If you need assistance at any time during the voting process, ask the
election worker and let them know how they can help.
If this has been offered previously, it’s news to me. And given my various voting experiences, it’s safe to say it would have also been news to every poll worker in the history of the universe.
I won’t be happy until every election on every level is fully serviced by accessible voting technology, but this is at least a start. For once I’ll know what those numbers mean without having to ask somebody to read everything to me and then trying to remember it. That’ll be nice. Unfortunately it doesn’t solve the fundamental flaw in the system, that being that unless I have somebody actually look at my ballot, I have no idea whether or not my vote counts because I can’t see the mark I attempted to make. I’m still walking out of the polling station without the confidence of knowing that I succeeded in doing what I came there to do. That’s unacceptable no matter how you look at it, but it’s especially so because it’s entirely preventable.