Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Helping adults with a disability to vote
What do you do if you get to the polling station and you can't read the voting slip or write a cross ? This question came up and I wasn't sure of the answer so I wrote to Leonard Cheshire Disability who are running a My Vote My Say campaign and this was the reply I got :
'If you would like to vote in person but cannot read the ballot paper or make the cross on the ballot paper yourself you are entitled to be accompanied by a support worker to the polling station and your support worker, under your instruction, can read out the ballot paper to you and place the cross where you instruct them to do so. If you do not have a support worker you can also ask the polling station staff to do this for you.All polling station staff will have been instructed on how they can support people with an impairment at the polling stations on election day but if you want additional assurance, the electoral commission is producing a template letter that voters can take to the polling station that reminds polling station staff of the electoral commission guidance and the fact that you are entitled to have a support worker assist you or be assisted by polling station staff. This resource is not available' but will be in the near future.
The ability to remain fully impartial is obviously important and there is guidance from the Charities Commission Charities and Elections