Election Day with Dallas & Jim
At Arkansas Support Network, the relationships formed between our staff and those we support are invaluable. On November 3rd, Dallas voted for the first time with his support staff, Jim. Jim was so happy for Dallas and his new milestone that he wanted to share the experience with everyone.
Jim: Dallas went to a self advocacy meeting over at the main building back in October. One of the things they talked about there was voting and they passed out voting registration forms. Dallas took a form home. We went over it together, filled it out, and mailed it in. A few weeks later, he received his voter ID card. I went to a voter ID website and pulled up Dallas’s voter information. It told us where he was registered to vote. I was also able to pull up a sample ballot. I printed out the sample ballot along with some candidate and ballot information. Dallas and I went to the library where I gave Dallas that information. I read it to him. He told me who he wanted to vote for and filled out his sample ballot. Then, we used that sample ballot when we went down to the election. When we got to the electronic booth on Voting Day, it looked pretty much the same as the sample ballot we filled out beforehand.
How was Voting Day?
Jim: It was good! We went down to the courthouse, got in line. There was about a 15 to 20 minute wait in line but it went by pretty quickly. He was pretty excited when he got done. There was a line of people out the door. On the way out the door, he was shaking hands and pointed at his ‘I Voted’ sticker while giving out high fives. He was really excited about it.
Do you feel like Dallas will want to vote again?
Jim: Yes. He was so excited. He will definitely want to vote again.
As his support, how did you feel when Dallas voted?
Jim: I was excited for him! When he was going out shaking hands and giving high fives, I thought,
“Anybody who decides that they don’t want to go out and vote for whatever reason needs to see how excited he was and maybe that would change their attitude about voting”.
Dallas: Jim, he is the best friend I have and a good man.
To learn more information about programs offered at ASN, visit our home page at www.supports.org.