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Early Voting – No Thanks — Why Now?
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Early Voting – No Thanks

Voting Sticker

I thought it might be easier for my Mother if she went to the early voting, rather then waiting until election day. She isn’t a fan of the ramp to the entry of the town hall, but can’t really complain about it because she was on the town council that built it, and she voted for it.

I decided to do a reconnaissance on the early voting location and set up to see how “user friendly” it would be for people using walkers or wheelchairs and … well, there are always absentee ballots.

The location is in full compliance with the ADA and there are no ramps, beyond a standard curb cutout. It is a major walk from the parking lot to the building, and then a medium length walk inside. There are two sets of doors to get through, and they aren’t automatic or easy.

Once you get to the room where the voting is taking place it is obvious that no one had walkers or wheelchairs in mind when they arranged the furniture.

I voted, but my Mother will wait until election day, because it is a lot easier for her to navigate the town hall, and they provide a person to open the doors.

When you add in a 20 mile round-trip, it isn’t very convenient, or cheap.

Note: this applies to the early voting location in South Okaloosa county, which is off Lewis Turner Boulevard.


1 Steve Bates { 10.22.10 at 11:48 pm }

My sympathies to your Mother. My nearest early-voting location is a huge supermarket (Fiesta) but the actual polls are not too far from the main door, and there are more than a dozen handicapped parking spaces near the door. If I’d taken a wheelchair, it would have been an easy trip, but as usual these days I took my walker because it’s easier to get into and out of the car. (Yes, I’m driving short distances these days… it’s not fun, but is no more dangerous than usual when anyone drives busy Houston streets.) Voting was straightforward; I didn’t meet any of the reported Tea Party rabble rousers who reportedly harassed some voters here. I was a bit disappointed… think of the opportunities if they were to harass (gasp) a cripple! 🙂 My only other disappointment (and I’m sure your Mother can identify) is that I was so fatigued after the whole process that I was unable to shop for groceries; I went straight home.

In spite of myself, I voted for a lot of Democrats. I don’t vote for any GOP or Libertarian candidates, and the Greens are very nearly nonexistent on the ballot here this year. I skipped races in which I did not know or know about the Dem candidate. To my great regret, no Democrat or Green ran against my Congressman, John Culberson (call him Tom DeLay II if you want).

For me, this was the easy election. 2012 is the one that will give me fits if I can’t find a suitable non-GOP, non-Obama candidate for president.

2 Bryan { 10.23.10 at 12:25 am }

Most of the supermarkets and large stores in our area have wheelchairs, most motorized, which would make the process simple. I assume this has something to do with cost, because Bob knows that we have plenty of empty commercial property available around here with parking right in front and automatic doors, that the owners would rent for a song.

Mother can use her cane in those cases, because it isn’t too far, and she uses the cane or walker for stability, not for a lack of strength.

I don’t understand how polling locations are selected, but they don’t make a lot of sense to me. Church halls seem to be the predominate choice, as our town hall is one of only two used in the entire county, and we have two precincts voting there.

Yes, my Mother is very familiar with the fatigue of just getting around, as she has to carry oxygen with her, and the tank is heavy, which is why she prefers the walker for longer distances, the bottle can be hung on it. The walker also has a seat if she needs to rest.

Mid-terms suck for third parties as it is hard to get the money together to run any kind of campaign.

I didn’t vote for any Republicans, but put a lot of marks besides people who were “NPA” [No Party Affiliation]. They may not win, but the numbers will show the parties that there are people who don’t want their choices or policies.

3 Steve Bates { 10.23.10 at 5:08 pm }

Fiesta has very decent motorized carts with baskets, but all of them were in use the day I went to vote there. I’ve come to rank stores by the quality of their motorized carts: so far, Kroger has the best ones, and (surprisingly) Target has the worst… they don’t hold a charge very well, and frequently stall at the most inconvenient locations. Wait 30 seconds and try again…