Wes’s Musical Meltdown for 11/13/2016

Last night, Wes’s Musical Meltdown returned to XTFM after an unplanned hiatus due to internet issues, job ttraining, and illness. It felt good to be back. Some drops occurred, but in spite of those, I’m quite proud of this show. We had the Cover Comparison, a tribute to Seattle rock in honor of the Seahawks playing the Patriots, and lots of new music.

Playlist

  1. Avenged Sevenfold, The Stage
  2. Amaranthe, Drop Dead Cynical
  3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer, I Believe in Father Christmas
  4. Sully Erna, Different Kind of Tears
  5. Godsmack, Something Different
  6. Matchbox 20, Push
  7. Tonic, Take Me As I Am
  8. Goo Goo Dolls, Iris
  9. Hells Fire Sinners, Aint A Damned Thing Changed
  10. Our Lady Peace, Somewhere Out There
  11. Maren Morris, 80’s Mercedes
  12. Jason Aldean, Whiskey’d Up
  13. Big & Rich, Holy Water
  14. Cole Swindell, Broke Down
  15. A Thousand Horses, Smoke
  16. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, You’ll Accomp’ny Me
  17. Frankie Ballard, You’ll Accomp’ny Me
  18. Bon Jovi, Never Say Goodbye [Request]
  19. XYZ, Souvenirs
  20. Alice In Chains, Sea Of Sorrow
  21. Temple of the Dog, Say Hello 2 Heaven
  22. Soundgarden, Live to Rise
  23. Mother Love Bone, Stargazer
  24. Pearl Jam, Last Kiss
  25. Mad Season, River Of Deceit
  26. Kenny Chesney, Setting the World On Fire
  27. Kenny Chesney, Rich and Miserable
  28. Drew Baldridge, Rebound
  29. Aaron Lewis, Whiskey and You
  30. Reckless Kelly, Who’s Gonna Be Your Baby Now
  31. Aubrie Sellers, Sit Here and Cry
  32. Vince Gill, Down to My Last Bad Habit
  33. Chris Young, Sober Saturday Night (Feat. Vince Gill)
  34. Jennifer Nettles, Unlove You
  35. Jennifer Nettles, My House (feat. Jennifer Lopez)
  36. Chris Tomlin, Good Good Father
  37. Lauren Daigle, Trust In You
  38. Danny Gokey, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again
  39. Third Day, Your Words (feat. Harvest)
  40. Casting Crowns, Just Be Held
Play

US election 2016: my voting experience with the accessible terminal

Today, along with many of my fellow Americans, I went to my local precinct to cast my ballot for president, Senate, House races, and several other positions and bond issues. Don’t worry… This post isn’t going to be about who to vote for or who to not vote for… You will see enough of that on social media and on the news.

Though I’ve been eligible to vote, and have voted, for the past 20 years, and though this is my sixth presidential election, this was the first election in which I was able to vote mostly independently, without Sighted assistance. When I lived in Arizona and Washington, generally, I had to have someone assist me in filling out the ballot… Usually a relative or trusted friend. In Arizona, all we had were the paper ballots. There were no accessible voting terminals when I became eligible to vote in 1996, until my departure at the end of 1999. In Washington, we had a mix of in person voting and mail in voting. Accessible voting machines were introduced during my time in Washington. However, gaining access to one was often inconvenient. You either had to attend a meeting of ACB or NFB… Or you had to go to one specific polling place in order to use them. So, I continued using paper ballots, and having someone I trusted help me in the privacy of my home and mailing the ballot in after I was finished.

Now, I live in Ohio. I knew, from visiting a polling precinct in Springfield last year, that accessible voting terminals were much more readily available here than I had ever experienced in Washington state. However, due to when I arrived in the state and registered to vote, I had not registered in time to vote in the contest last November. With that said, today, I was looking forward to trying The machines… Don’t get me wrong. I trust my fiancé completely, and if I had needed to have her assist in filling out a ballot, I know I could count on her to do it, and to cast the vote for the candidates and positions as I dictated them to her. But, having that freedom to do it myself is truly awesome.

I reported to my precinct, which is housed in the gymnasium of the school portion of the church I currently attend. At first, I wasn’t sure how things would go… When we asked the poll workers about speech and or braille, none of them were quite sure as to what would be available. After some difficulties, we found a worker who knew how the machines function. It turns out that all of the machines have an audio option… They have headphones available if you need them, or you can do as I did and use your own earbuds or headphones. The buttons are clearly marked in braille. Once they had the machine set up, I was able to go through the entire Ballot without issues. Yes, it may have taken me quite a bit longer because the audio is much slower than I’m used to listening… But, I was afforded the same right to privacy and secrecy of my vote as my Sighted counterparts.

No matter who wins the top job, no matter how the races turn out… For the first time, I truly know how my ballot was cast. The machine spoke very clearly, letting me know who or what I was selecting, and even went over my selections at the end, allowing me an opportunity to make changes if necessary. Like I said, I’m thankful to those who have assisted me with voting in the past, even if my vote differed from theirs… But having the freedom to cast my vote and take my time is A truly awesome feeling.

If I could change anything about the process, I would suggest that poll workers need to be better trained… Even if you don’t show every worker every function of the machine, they should at least know what is available for their blind voters, as well as those with any other disabilities requiring assistance. Other than that, I must say, I was very pleased with my experience.