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Make Voting an Accessible Experience for Everyone

Make Voting an Accessible Experience for Everyone

The Electoral Commission has called for changes to allow disabled people to register and cast their votes with more ease in their new report Elections for Everyone .

This report calls on the UK governments, political parties and those who run elections to make voting more accessible for all. They say:

The government must:
*make changes to election forms so that they’re easier to understand.
*give people with disabilities more ways to vote.
*change the law so that people with disabilities have more choice on who they can bring to a polling station

Political parties must:
*make sure their information is easy to read and understand.
*make sure they send their information in good time so everyone can read it.
*publish accessible versions of manifestos at the same time as other versions.

People running elections must:
*make registering to vote and voting more accessible.
*make helplines more accessible, as it’s not always clear what people need to do next.
*support anyone who needs help to vote.

The organisation also provides guidance for returning officers to use to make their polling stations accessible and a guide on voting in person.

Local information on the forthcoming council elections, the Police and Crime Commissioner election and the Sheffield Governance Referendum, which are all due to take place on 6 May 2021, is in our blog How to Vote during the Pandemic.

At Disability Sheffield we are concerned that some polling stations in Sheffield are not accessible. One of our volunteers , who is a wheelchair user, has complained that Walkley Library is not accessible and one of our advocates has complained about The Tile shop on Barber Rd, Broomhill.

There should be no barriers to voting for disabled people. Everyone should have the right to vote on their own and in secret.

Please let us know , in comments below, if you’ve had or anticipate having difficulty at your local polling station. You have the right to support if you would like to vote.


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