Voting in 2020 is especially challenging for the blind

Polling place Photo credit iStock/Getty Images

Because of COVID-19, the 2020 election will be like few in recent history.

But Greg Polman, senior vice president of public policy for the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, said voters who are blind or visually impaired really have one option — voting in-person at a polling place.

Polman said voting by mail is not a realistic option for voters who are blind or visually impaired. A mail-in ballot would require the assistance of someone who can read the options on the page.

"So you're going to have to ask someone to assist, and once you do that we've gone back decades where we no longer have a private ballot to submit," Polman said.

Handicap-accessible voting machines display the ballot in large print. They also have a headphone jack that allows a voter to hear the options, he said.

Polman added that he will vote in-person, and follow the proper COVID-19 safety protocols.

"If you practice the protocols that are in place, or the guidance that's in place, it's a pretty good option," Polman said.