Help for disabled voters

At the polling station

Wheelchair access

As many polling places as possible are wheelchair accessible. Ramped access is provided either through the main entrance or via an alternative door which will be sign posted.

Our polling booths can be changed to a lower level to accommodate wheelchair users.

Assistance from staff

If it is difficult to access the polling station, the Presiding Officer will offer help to voters getting into the station, or they may bring a ballot paper out to that person to ensure they can complete it. This ballot paper will then be folded and delivered to the ballot box by the Presiding Officer. You can also ask the Presiding Officer to help you cast your vote. They are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy so your vote will remain secret. If you know which candidate you wish to vote for, you may instruct the Presiding Officer, in the privacy of the polling booth, to mark the ballot paper(s) on your behalf.

Large print

Large print notices of ballot papers are available to view in every polling station. These can be used for reference, but you must still cast your vote on a standard print ballot paper as this is required by law.

Assistance for blind or visually impaired voters

A special aid called ‘tactile voting device’ is available to help blind or visually impaired voters to vote without assistance. These devices can be fixed to the ballot paper 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 may 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 which is then placed into the ballot box.

For more information

If you need more information about access at a particular polling place, or have any other queries, please contact us at the Elections office.

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.

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 raining 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.