Help for disabled voters
How we make our polling stations accessible and alternative ways of voting if you can't come to a polling station.
At the Polling Station
- As many polling places as possible are wheelchair accessible, and we provide temporary ramps where needed. The ramped access may be through an alternative to the main door, this will be sign posted.
- If it is difficult to access the polling station, the Presiding Officer will offer help to the voter getting into the station, or might bring a ballot paper out to that person to ensure that they can fill it in. This ballot paper will then be folded and delivered to the ballot box by the Presiding Officer.
- There will be a low level polling booth suitable for use with a wheelchair in every polling place
- Large print notices of ballot papers are available to view in every polling station, these can be used as reference, but you must still cast your vote on a standard print ballot paper as this is required by law.
- A special aid called a ‘tactile device’ is available to help blind or visually impaired voters to vote without assistance. These devices are fixed to the ballot paper by sticky adhesive and have flaps which cover each of the boxes with corresponding numbers embossed in black on the surface. The number shows up against the paper and is also identifiable by touch. To cast your vote, you lift the relevant flap to show the box on the ballot paper and make your mark. The device is then removed from the ballot paper and the ballot paper placed in the ballot box.
- Assistance from a relative - If you have a disability that prevents you from completing a ballot paper on your own, you may take a relative to the polling station to help you to vote. Your companion must be a close relative (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, civil partner; son or daughter if they are aged eighteen years or over). Before helping you, your companion must complete a simple companion declaration form at the polling station to indicate that they have recorded the vote truly and faithfully. Please ask the Presiding Officer at your polling station about this.
- Assistance from staff - You can ask the Presiding Officer to help you, they are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy and your vote will remain secret. If you know which candidate you wish to vote for, you must instruct the Presiding Officer, in the privacy of the polling booth, to mark the ballot paper(s) on your behalf.
If you need more information about access at a particular polling place or have any other queries please contact Electoral Services on 01273 291999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other ways of voting
If you don't want to go to the polling station to vote, please remember that all voters are entitled to vote by post, and voters with a disability can have a permanent proxy vote.
Application forms are available to download via the links below or by contacting Electoral Services.
Other useful links
United Response is a national disability charity and they have produced specific information on the voting process.
Speaking Up is an organisation who supports and empowers people with learning difficulties, disabilities and mental health problems to speak up for themselves. They have provided a website aimed at raising awareness by supporting and encouraging people with learning disabilities to have a better understanding of the voting process, to become active citizens and to register to vote.