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Date posted: 2nd December 2019
Four recommendations for increasing voting accessibility
Following the June 2017 election, Thomas Pocklington Trust and RNIB published a report on the experiences of blind and partially sighted people who voted in the 2015 General Election, 2016’s London Mayoral election and Referendum and the 2017 General Election. The report showed 74% of blind and partially sighted people felt either partially or totally unable to vote in secret and without assistance. 54% felt that the voting was inaccessible and that new accessible ways to vote are needed – such as telephone, electronic and online voting.
As the UK readies itself for another trip to the polls, TPT and London Vision have put together a short list of recommendations for Returning Officers and polling station staff to consider when preparing for the election on 12 December.
Frustratingly, for many blind and partially sighted people in the capital, voting – either by post or at the polling station – remains fundamentally inaccessible and rarely private, underlining the need for wholescale change to the voting system.
These simple recommendations are designed to ensure polling staff are better aware of the needs of the blind and partially sighted electorate and understand what they can do to help.
Making voting more accessible for blind and partially sighted people
We would ask all Returning Officers to share these recommendations with staff who will be working at the voting stations.