Pennsylvania to launch new voting method for visually impaired for next week’s primary

A silhouette image of a lab guide dog in harness.

This is a travel and tech blog for the blind and visually impaired, so while this story meets the technical criteria for inclusion, I strive to make this a totally non-political website. I figure that if you are looking for politics there are a million and one other sources for that stuff. This story deals with something that should have been resolved long ago, no, not daylight saving time, voting. It seems like every four years w come around to the conversation that the current system for voting in inherently unfair to the blind and visually impaired. Someone says we should get that fixed before the next election and it never happens – just like daylight savings time. Paper ballots, and the excuse that someone can come into the polling booth and help read and choose your candidate are reinforced by the fact that our constitution does not guarantee the right to a secret ballot. So this isn’t a political issue it is first and foremost an accessibility issue. 

For more information on your vote not being as secret as you might think here is a good article with supreme court callouts to support their claims.

We are six months away from the presidential election, and the primaries for each state are well underway, this means that it is time for lawmakers to start the panic about the lack of accessibility for disabled voters. It is funny that the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted technology which will help the blind and visually impaired years ahead of where it was before the virus hit our shores. I have always said that technology or accessibility infrastructures put in place almost always benefit the sighted and make their life more convenient as well. It is just a shame that a global pandemic had to be the catalyst for improving accessible and distance connectivity technologies. 

Pennsylvania will launch a new voting method for visually impaired voters for next week’s primary. As long as the voters are registered by the appropriate date and time they will be allowed to access the ballot for the primary via a secure server. The user will be allowed to make their choice then print out the ballot and return it to their polling station. This sounds like a reasonable option. I still strongly believe that we as a nation need to come up with a universal accessibility option to make voting work for all. 

Here is a link to the article about Pennsylvania and their voting system being implemented



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