People with disabilities must not be disenfranchised at the forthcoming elections because of Covid-19 and social distancing. There are many voting options but only a few of them can be said to accommodate people with disabilities. Apart from the in-person voting option mandated by ADA, there is also a vote by mail option. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, few countries have conducted their elections electronically and through a vote by mail.
Here in America, although, the in-person voting option mandated by the ADA is vital, they are typically only available at in-person polling locations, but we are not in normal times, we are at a time when people are keeping to social distancing due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, and to this end, many voters with disabilities are likely going to stay indoors and opt to vote by mail.
People with disabilities and those with underlying health issues are at risk of contracting COVID-19 if they stay too long outdoors or use facilities that have been touched by hundreds of people, it will be better to opt to vote by mail because the option does not only provides safety, it also provides voters with as much time as they need to vote, as well as the opportunity to vote from home. Vote by mail offers voters the chance to process information and check through the disability plan packages and initiatives of all the candidates. Vote by mail also allows voters with physical disabilities to avoid the stressful process of trying to navigate transportation and inaccessible polling places.
1 in 5 American has a disability, that is over 65 million Americans with disabilities. If vote by mail is adopted by all the states, it simply meant more people with disabilities will vote in the coming elections. It is time to start looking into the disability plans of all the candidates. Since pandemic is seen as a social model of disability, the expansion of vote by mail to many households is inevitable.
I know that there will be polling places guidelines will be introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) but the vote by mail option will help reduce the number of voters going to in-person polling places and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Failing to expand vote by mail could end in voters going to the polls en masse could lead to a speedy spread of COVID-19. Voters' health should remain the government's top priority.