A Few Minutes For Freedom

November 1st, 2019 By Paul Schroeder

Scattered red white and blue

Are you willing to give a few minutes of your time to make your community a better place? For most of us, I hope, the answer is an emphatic or at least cautious, “YES.”

OK, you guessed I had a pitch and here it is: GO VOTE. On November 5, elections will be held that will determine who makes decisions in several states and numerous communities.

What does this have to do with Aira? Good question, but first I have to digress for a minute.

I voted for the first time in 1982. Yes, that old. I just missed the very consequential election of 1980. And, I’m fairly certain I’ve voted in every national, state, and local election since, including primaries. By far the most exhilarating vote I’ve casted was for my wife who ran successfully for a seat on our local Board of Education. OK, enough about me and the platitudes – for a time I was also a boy scout, and I love puppies and baseball too.

Now, back to the question of what this has to do with Aira. Simple: Aira can be your game changer for voting, just like it is in so many other ways. Back in 1982, and for many elections thereafter, getting information about candidates, even just knowing what was on the ballot, was very difficult. Obviously, this was B.I. (Before Internet) and information was hard to find and manage because it was all in print.

Today, the internet makes finding information about candidates and your local ballot quite easy. However, not every candidate site, voter information page, or ballot page is accessible. And in spite of the Help America Vote Act and ADA, not every polling place has accessible voting machines and many jurisdictions do not have an accessible absentee ballot.

Oh, and go ahead and eat some apple pie or celebrate the World Series (as I will because my hometown Nationals won it all) or whatever makes you feel patriotic, that’s also your right.

But now you have Aira available to fill in those voter information gaps.

Give a few of your precious minutes before Election Day on November 5 to find out what races are on your ballot, and what the candidates say they’ll do. If you run into visual barriers on the web or in reviewing the voter guides and information you may have received in the mail, open up your trusty Aira app and have an agent fill in those details. I bet you can do a lot of what you need in the five-minute free calls available. While it is likely that you won’t be able to use Aira to access a voting machine (most jurisdictions don’t allow cellphones or cameras in the voting booth), Aira can help in many other ways.

By the way, feel free to contact your local board of elections and ask them about using Aira if you think you might need it on Election day. If the voting machine isn’t accessible, you are entitled to bring someone with you to help you vote. You could certainly try to convince officials that Aira can provide you with objective assistance in marking your ballot. And of course, you can also use Aira to mark your absentee ballot (either online or paper).

The following states have legislative or governor races on the ballot:

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia

(Note that the run-off election for the Louisiana governor is scheduled for November 16, 2019.) Remember, your local community may also have an election for mayor, council, school board, or for various taxation questions.

I find it worrying that in these so-called off-year elections (so named because it’s not a vote for president) that often only one third or less of voters bother to cast a vote. Voting is free, and I believe also a duty for all of us. And, take it from me, it’s strangely satisfying to cast your vote for the candidate or issue position of your choice. It’s your decision and no one else has to know or decide for you.

So, take those minutes this weekend – use Aira if you need it – to do a bit of research and distinguish yourself as one of the pillars of democracy. Oh, and go ahead and eat some apple pie or celebrate the World Series (as I will because my hometown Nationals won it all) or whatever makes you feel patriotic, that’s also your right.

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