The Coronavirus pandemic has posed unusual and unprecedented challenges before the world, and the human race has answers to almost none. Likewise, COVID-19 has now posed a problem for blind/visually disabled voters in the United States, who were about to vote for the US Presidential Elections this November.
As a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus, the election functionaries have decided to introduce vote-by-mail. The fear of community spread by the crowded voting booths has forced them to use a system, which robs the visually disabled voters of their privacy. An estimated 7 million voters in the US are blind or visually disabled. By ditching the electronic voting system, these voters won’t be able to cast their votes independently. Computer technology experts have been rendered helpless, as they don’t seem to have any solution to a problem that raises serious concerns about equality in the election process.
Douglas W. Jones, a University of Iowa computer science professor said,
Civil rights activists fear that the lack of privacy could compel a large number of voters to skip the current elections instead of risking their ballot privacy. Dorothy Griffin, President of the Georgia affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, expressed her concerns about catching the virus at the crowded polling booths, especially being a diabetic individual. She further added,