Now that we are in the middle of election season there are so many television commercials trying to persuade us one way or the other. We are told over and over again that every vote counts, but does it? I have a visual impairment and if my vote counts, why is it that I am not sure who wants me to vote for them?
I recently wrote an article about commercials and how they do not take into consideration the visually impaired population. Now we have political commercial trying to get our vote without naming the candidate. On election day all we hear is make sure you get out and vote because every vote counts. But does it really? If every vote counts, then the politicians should ensure their commercials clearly identify who they are. The visually impaired, or those just listening to television, need to know who really wants your vote.
Frankly, I'm not sure if this is right or wrong but, I partly base my decision on how many negative commercials the candidate runs. In my opinion a person running for office should be able to develop commercials based on their records and their platform. I want to know where they stand on the issues and what they have done in their career, not how bad the other person is. While the negative commercials seem to be more attention grabbing, they make me wonder how much of the commercial is actually true, how much is a stretch of the truth and how much is an actual falsehood. In order words, I begin to doubt the negative politician.
Then there is the issue of polling. Why do I get asked questions that have seemingly no relationship to how I vote or what party I am affiliated with? I have already received a poll asking me questions about people on both parties. While I find these polls a little confusing, I would think they would give the best picture of what is going on in people's minds. However, in all the demographic questions I have never been asked if I was disabled. They want to know if I am a student, a housewife, retired, work full or part-time or looking for work. Does this mean that disabled people do not count? Should I not bother to vote?
I have heard that there are still many people with disabilities that have a very difficult time voting. It is 2016, people with disabilities should be able to vote independently. I have been blind since 2004 and my first experience with voting both interesting and embarrassing. After I signed in, I had to wait because my polling place did not have a voting machine accessible for the visually impaired. After my mom and I waited a couple of minutes, a gentleman came up to me and asked if I was the blind person. Well yes, that would be me standing there with my white cane. Luckily my mom was with me because the only way I could vote was with her help. It was several years before my new polling place got an accessible machine. Finally, I could vote in privacy just like everyone else. I am lucky, my polling place has an accessible machine, not all polling places do. This begs the question, if polling places do not have an accessible machine why should the disable think their vote counts?
So I will end as I began, does my vote really count? If yes, then why don't I feel like it counts? Why is it so difficult to find out information on where the politicians stand on the issues that impact me? If my vote counts then why can't all people with disabilities vote independently? And if my vote counts then why can't the candidate tell me his or her name in their commercial? Will I vote? I don't know. Does my vote count?
I know that the disabled population as a whole is small, but I am here to tell you that we do matter and we do count. I think more politicians need to start talking about the rights of people with disabilities and how we can make the world more accepting. Then again, how can I expect a politician to try to help the disabled population when they won't even tell me their name in their commercial?
I live in Pennsylvania and the political commercials are just starting. From what I have heard on the news so far, I believe this is going to be a very nasty election. If I am correct, this will only make me less inclined to vote. I cannot stand negative commercials and, since I already feel that my vote does not count, why should I vote? If the politicians don't care about me, why should I care about them? Why does the disabled population need to go out of their way to find information about the candidates. The politicians should be telling all of us, disabled or not, where they stand on all the issues.