Tuesday, November 6, 2012

GET OUT THE DEAF VOTE!: Voting While Deaf

As I reflect on Election Day, I think about my experiences at polling booths. The NAD has a helpful website with explanations about and directions for Deaf voters–but nothing in ASL. And sadly, the promise of DeafVote never materialized, although the info that was originally posted is still there. Do Deaf people experience problems voting at the polls? Have they been stopped at the polls because of communication breakdowns? Are there Deaf people who've had bad experiences and given up on participating in Democracy? What about Deaf-Blind folks? What happens when you're asked for ID? In a country where we can be stopped at the airport and forced to ride in a wheelchair because it's somehow appropriate for Deaf people–are we lucky enough for everyone to participate unilaterally?

Obama has a ton of Deaf support. Here's a POWERFUL video from Abram Powell describing his life and voting experiences (ASL and English):

Does Romney have any Deaf supporter videos? Here's a video from amazing blogger Amy Cohen Efron describing voting experiences from a few years ago and some decisions she had to make:

Finally, since I live in MD, where Question 6 will decide if Gay and Lesbian couples will have equal rights to the rest of America, here's a video from a cool straight guy in Minnesota. In MN, you had to vote NO to stop a ban, here, in MD, you need to vote YES! to let a civil rights law pass:


1 comment:

Adam said...

I had an issue with an election worker this AM. I was in the P-Z line when it suddenly split into two, and a person near me encouraged me to go into the new line. So I did. When I went to the front, the woman told me I was in the wrong line - it was now a S line and a T-Z line, and my last name starts with an S.

No matter, I just moved over to the next guy (cut in front of everyone else) but he couldn't find my name. Turns out he's illiterate; other people were helping him find their last names, too. Go figure.

When I went to the next table to pick up my ballot, the workers wouldn't stop chattering at me...I had no idea what they were saying. I gestured that I was deaf and they stopped talking and just handed me the ballot, showed me to fill out both sides, and pointed to the booths where I could fill out the ballot. Why were they talking so much about? No idea.