Voting Early

By Erika Evans

My name is Erika Evans and I live in Sherwood, AR. My parents and I voted early for the first time this year. It took us 1.5 hours to complete. We were told to get a stylus off the table upon entering the polling site. Then, we were counted and told what chair to sit in. Once seated we were told what the process was. I raised my hand and asked the poll worker if the voting machines had accessibility features. She said that a poll worker could read the screen to me and I would mark my choices. My mom told me that I might be able to read the screen since they were large and digital. I had my magnifier with me.

Once called up to present my ID, I was told to use my stylus to sign on the screen for my ballot. I told the worker that the print was too small to read, so she read the information to me to verify my address. My ballot was printed and I was directed to a table with a large number on it and then directed by another to head to a different station. The worker at this station came over and told me how to get started. He helped me slide my slip into the machine and I was able to see the print on the screen without using my magnifier. I was able to take my time and navigate the screens independently, and everybody was very nice. My county had bought new machines. In the past we used a very small print paper ballot, often two-sided. Once I confirmed my choices, my slip was printed on and I took it to the ballot box machine. I was able to keep my stylus and given my sticker. My dad was sitting in a chair near the door waiting for my mom and I.

Mission complete. I pray others had a good experience. 

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