Voting already feels like a big ordeal, but now we have to worry about voting in person during a pandemic? We understand! Kim has some tools to help during your in-person voting. #ElectionTips2020
[TRANSCRIPT & DESC: NAD logo at the bottom right corner. Black background with a blue/gray ribbon slides in with black text “HOUSE REPS & SENATE?” and disappears. Another blue/gray ribbon slides in with black text “ELECTORAL COLLEGE?” and disappears. Another blue/gray ribbon slides in with black text “NATIONAL PARTIES?” and disappears. Another blue/gray ribbon slides in with black text “MAIN IN / ABSENTEE / ALL-MAIL?” and disappears. Another blue/gray ribbon slides in with black text “STRAIGHT TICKET VOTING?” and disappears. White “WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO VOTE” and bright blue “?” appear on the screen then Kim appears.
KIM: Why is it important to vote? Maybe you thought about Education. Employment. Economy. Health Care. Accessibility. Social Justice. All the things that impact you and those you care about. Voting can make a huge difference – who you vote for or how you vote decides the changes the government makes in those areas. One vote does make a difference! History has shown how previous elections were decided by a few votes!
If your state is still doing in-person voting, communication may be an even bigger issue than usual at the polling place because everyone will be wearing masks! When you go to the polling place, ask them to wear a clear face shield or clear mask, keep in mind they may not have any. You can bring a print out with specific information about yourself, that includes an explanation that you are deaf and you require communication without sharing pens/paper or phones. The print out can help others understand how to accommodate you better.
For example, you can ask the polling place staff to use their mobile phones to type messages in big text or use speech-to-text apps — keep in mind, each person should use their own phone because using a phone back and forth should be avoided due to COVID-19 risks. You can also ask the polling place staff to use a whiteboard and marker or paper and several pens – because again, sharing is not recommended. If none of these options are possible, and you are comfortable with lipreading, ask the polling place staff to stand at least six feet away and pull down their mask to allow lip-reading at a safe distance. The CDC has guidance on voting in-person that includes when to vote during off-peak times, bring your own black ink pens or touch-screen pens to use on the voting machine, and wash your hands before entering and after leaving the polling location.
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