Visually impaired? Get help voting with Vote.org and Be My Eyes
In this photo, Corinther Payne helps her husband, Jesse Payne, who is blind, navigate the voting machines at the Bellvue Frayser Church polling location on March 3, 2020, to vote in the Super Tuesday primaries. Vote.org and Be My Eyes have partnered to provide election assistance for visually-impaired voters. | Jim Weber / Daily Memphian via AP

There are at least 26.9 million American adults with vision loss—a staggering 8% of the U.S. population—and even though not all of them are “blind” (about 1 million), there are still many who need help filling out paper documents, accessing technology, and completing complex government forms.

In the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, Be My Eyes and Vote.org are teaming up to make sure that for any American with a visual impairment, the process of registering and preparing to vote is as clear and accessible as possible.

Vote.org uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout and strengthen the ability for Americans to participate in their democratic system. Be My Eyes is committed to making a citizen’s right to vote more accessible, in the hope of making this all-important election the most inclusive yet!

“We are so glad to be partnering with Be My Eyes, in order to make sure that any visually impaired American who wants to vote can, and that the process of registering and preparing to vote is as clear and accessible as possible,” said Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey. “It’s critical we lower the barriers to political engagement, and simplify the voting process, whether by mail, voting early, or voting on Election Day. By making voting easier, and in turn, getting more people to vote, we create a stronger, more representative democracy.”

If you’re a blind or low-vision person in the U.S., you can connect with a Specialized Help agent on the Vote.org profile on Be My Eyes. You need to open the Be My Eyes app, enter the Specialized Help menu, and select Vote.org from the list of available organizations (in the “Civic Engagement” category). Vote.org volunteers will be open to take your calls through Be My Eyes Monday through Friday, 12 pm to 4 pm ET.

“As blind and low-vision people, we are underestimated and underrepresented every day of our lives,” says Will Butler, Be My Eyes’ Vice President of Community. “Voting in an election is our chance to change that. We may only turn out a few million strong, but in an election, that can make a big difference.”

Through the Be My Eyes app, Vote.org’s tools will help blind voters check if they are registered to vote, guide them through registering if they are not already (deadlines may have passed in some states for the Nov. 3 election), and provide information about voting by mail and COVID-19 guidelines specific to the voter’s state. In a time where physical distancing is still a huge part of daily lives for all Americans, it’s more critical than ever that everyone has a way to access all necessary information, to make sure that they are motivated and confident about voting between now and November 3.

Visually impaired users of Be My Eyes can call Vote.org for help accessing their tools starting today to make sure they’re all set and ready for November 3.

Those who may be unfamiliar with Be My Eyes and are themselves visually impaired or know someone who is, will find its services invaluable for all kinds of purposes throughout the year. Trained helpers are available 24 hours a day in virtually all the languages of the world to help clients “see” what they need to—a document, a prescription, a message, or even the color of an item of clothing you may be considering wearing that day. You can even be out on the street and with your mobile device, your “eyes” a continent away can help you find an address or your favorite cereal in a supermarket.

With so much at stake on November 3 involving healthcare, jobs, the environment, criminal justice, immigration and more, the participation of blind and visually impaired citizens is vital.


CONTRIBUTOR

Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.

Comments

comments

MOST POPULAR