[nfbwatlk] My Secret Ballot has been Cast!!

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Wed Aug 3 14:36:52 UTC 2016

Well, thanks to the postal service and Jacob Struiksma, I voted yesterday without assistance, (or for that matter interference). For the past few weeks, I have periodically checked my mail box for the primary election ballot that was supposed to come from the King county elections office. Either it somehow didn't get delivered, or it was thrown away with a bunch of junk mail I summarily dumped. I'm the first to admit that I could have been at fault. So, when Jacob posted the information about King County accessible voting locations last week, I decided that I would take the quick trip to the Union Station in Seattle to use the voting machines with the audio ballot. I don't know whether it was some sort of unwarranted concern about finding the place, or just my laziness that caused my mind to resist the trip, but in the end, I sucked it up and went from my Office on 5th and Columbia to the 4th and Jackson location by taking a bus the one stop from the Pioneer Square Tunnel station to the International District Tunnel station, and going next door to the Union Station. It was pretty easy.

I have never been very private about my voting preferences, but this was only the second time I have gone to only one of three accessible voting locations in the Seattle, King County area. The readers I have had over the years have been trustworthy, either because I knew them well, or because they were poll watchers at the precinct I used. But the prospect of being able to vote a secret ballot really got me excited about yesterday's vote. The experience was quite successful. At one point, my audio ballot wasn't printing in order for me to complete the process of getting it to the county elections folks, but we figured out the problem, which was that I was impatient and didn't listen to all the instructions before pushing buttons. That was definitely my fault. It didn't take long to remedy the situation, and I reviewed my ballot and completed the process. I thought it went reasonably smoothly, the staff was pretty well familiar with the machines, and I didn't have to wait at all to vote.

The main point though is that it was completely private. No one knew who I voted for, (or for that matter who I didn't vote for.) And, I could keep it to myself fir ever if I was not so anxious to be politically involved. I did leave the voting area  however, very proud that I had been able to vote on my own without assistance from anyone at all once I learned to use the voting machine. It was remarkably simple, and I'd recommend it for anyone who has the time and inclination to try it.

That having been said, if and when in the future I receive my mail in ballot, I will probably seek out a reader  because there are so few accessible voting locations. Many of us either can't or won't take the hour or two time on the bus to get to the nearest one. It is important that we all keep pushing for many more places that have accessible voting stations, or for some other method of being able to vote like everyone else, ... privately from home.

I do want to thank Jacob again for posting the information for King county at least to the list, and to urge others to look for that information for your own county.

Remember to vote often. ... Oh, I mean ... ah well, you know what I mean.

Have a great day.


Bennett Prows

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