As you might know, Malta has had an election where the Maltese choose which government they want. Like always, I have thoughts to share when it comes to gender and disability. I’m not someone who politic unclimbed every time I was given a chance to vote; I voted.
The way I think about it is this, the generations before me fought so that I could have the right to pick who would be in the government and the people in it, especially when not all people with disability get to vote for some frustrating reason.
For example, the week my sister told me that someone asked her if I was allowed to vote. Since they have a disabled friend who went to pick up her vote, and she was told she couldn’t due to her disability. Now, from what I was told, this person is able to understand and decide who she wants to rule.
On the day, I don’t know why but my pain level was pretty high, so saying that I dreaded going out of bed is an understatement. As soon as we got there, my arm fell asleep, so moving like a turtle, the police helped me with my chopping board, and I got to the voting room. Yes, you heard me right, and I took a chopping board with me. My chair would not fit in the voting box or under the table.
The last time I went voting, the people insisted on writing down my vote for me. I wanted to vote solely and independently, so I said you either let me vote by myself, or I’m leaving. Hence, why I brought the chopping board so I could write and yes, they had to close the door, and it took me about ten minutes to vote, but I did it by myself.
My afterthoughts are based on my experiences; if a person tells you that they don’t need help, you being overly helpful won’t do any good. I wish voting were more accessible, for example, online voting, which is already being done in some countries, if I’m not mistaken. I read that there are Braille templates for the visually impaired. However, the issue is here; I just read on Electoral Commission Malta site in 2015. There was a discussion between the CRPD and the Malta Society for the Blind, and it came out that only a percentage of Maltese who are visually impaired or blind know Braille.