The right to vote independently, and in secret, is a cornerstone of our democracy. Yet blind and partially sighted people continue to face unacceptable barriers to exercising their democratic right to vote.
Voting - know your rights
By law, local authorities must:
1.Ensure that every polling station has the correct tactile voting device and large print ballot papers and that staff know how to use these
2.Ensure that the tactile voting device correctly fit the ballot papers and that the large print versions of the ballot paper are readily available for voters to use, not displayed as posters
Share your experience of voting with us on European Parliamentary Election day, Thursday 23 May. Were you able to vote independently and in secret? Did you get the assistance you needed?
Take a selfie outside your polling station with a thumbs up or down, or a create a short video, and share it with us on social media @RNIB_Campaigns and use #AccessibleVoting.
Remember, you are not allowed to take a photo inside the polling station.
Working with the Government
The Government has agreed measures to make voting accessible for blind and partially sighted people. The measures were included in the Cabinet Office’s response to the call for evidence on access to voting for disabled people, which RNIB responded to late last year.
This year, we worked with the Electoral Commission to develop new resources for election staff, including an update to their training guides, a checklist of what should be in every polling station before it opens, and also a training video.
We also delivered a keynote speech at the Association of Electoral Administrators annual conference, to over 200 Returning Officers and election staff, about their responsibilities to disabled people when it comes to planning and running elections.