Tuesday, November 06, 2012

fun with accessible voting

Voting with us is not unlike the delicatessen scene from the movie “When Harry Met Sally” after Meg Ryan demonstrates a fake orgasm and the older woman customer remarks to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Other voters look up from their computerized voting screen toward ours wondering why theirs is not so entertaining.

That’s because they are not assisting a voter with severe Multiple Sclerosis with symptoms including legally blind and severe short term memory loss at the top of her myriad of cognitive challenges.

Having just finished reviewing Presidential choices including third party candidates, I turn to Patti and quietly ask her who she would like to vote for. … In a booming voice one might normally reserve for yelling from the top of a football stadium (because MS frequently lacks volume control) Patti declares “I think they are all assholes!” … and dissolves into self-bemused laughter.

The guy next to us laughingly remarks to a poll worker “How come my machine doesn’t have that choice?”

Eventually and while having more fun than two people should in a polling station we do finish voting.

Yes we, or I should say I could cop out for us, and do a mail in ballot or any of the other accessibility options but Patti prefers to participate in voting at local polling places. Accessibility to us has always meant inclusion not exclusion. … and if it can be enjoyable along the way than all the better.

Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @ http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/


  1. LOL Patrick. Somehow I knew I would get a laugh if I read your and Patti's election experience. After all, I remember the ones in the past that you shared; always an adventure come election day! I totally share in Patti's comment too :)

    thanks because I really needed this laugh this morning!


  2. I'm sure Patti provided a bit of levity to the voting venue! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I'll have what she's having! Mail-in ballots are convenient (that's the only option in Washington state), but not nearly as much fun. Your determination to do things "the normal way" with Patti, even when it's not the easy way, is a very fine thing.

  4. Thanks all for you kind thoughts and as the able bodied person in all this yeah to a degree it's about fighting to give Patti the option to be 'included'. Kind of that golden rule, do unto others thing - I would sooooo resent being told my only option to participate in voting was to mail in a ballot or vote somewhere in advance or in private. Public voting is what makes a democracy or at least to me. ... options should be inclusive but enough of me on my soap box after all I do not have the physical or cognitive challenges.

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