Voting in secret: 100 years on

Post date: 
Friday, 13 April 2018
Cover of RNIB's Turned Out report

This year marks 100 years of some women having the right to vote in national elections in Britain, but sadly it’s still the case that women with sight loss are not always able to vote in secret, or on their own.

 
An RNIB report about the accessibility of last year’s general election showed 45 per cent of blind and partially sighted people felt the system didn’t allow them to vote without assistance and in secret.
 
A contributor to the Turned Out report said: “I don’t know if the member of staff placed the cross in the correct box or even if she placed my vote in the ballot box. I didn’t like having to tell a stranger who I was voting for.”
 
Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, London and Shadow Minister for Disabled People, has nystagmus and is registered blind.
 
She said: “It’s fantastic that we are celebrating the centenary, but obviously for us to be a fully inclusive society we need to ensure that voting is accessible.
 

“Why can’t we vote electronically? Or why can’t we have some sort of electronic device that somebody could potentially use? Why can’t we have our voting papers in large print or in braille? It’s pretty basic stuff.”

RNIB will be raising the issue of inaccessible voting during Democracy Week in July. Find out more by signing up to our monthly campaign eNews.


This article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of Connect Magazine.

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