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Making Voting Accessible To All

Published on: 2 May, 2023
Updated on: 2 May, 2023

Guildford Borough Council is reminding all those heading to vote at a polling station on Thursday (May 4) to take valid photo ID with them. Failure to do so will mean that they will not be issued a ballot paper, unless they return with valid ID later in the day.

Their press release continues: “People with a disability may be more worried about different challenges at the polling station. Will the polling place be accessible? Can someone help me?

“We do everything we can to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote independently. All our polling places are wheelchair accessible. We also provide extra support and equipment at polling stations. This includes:

  • a wheelchair-accessible polling booth
  • large print sample versions of the ballot paper
  • a tactile voting device to help those with a visual impairment
  • pencil grips
  • magnifiers for use with the ballot paper
  • staff who can read the name of the candidates on the ballot paper

“Do you know that voters with disabilities can use mobile phones as magnifiers or text-to-speech apps? The phone torch can helps improve lighting too. But remember it’s illegal to take any photos inside the polling station.

Getting extra help if you need it

“Choosing to wear a sunflower lanyard will help staff identify that you may need extra help. But it’s not necessary. If you’re not sure what to do or need extra help, you can always speak with polling station staff.

A sunflower lanyard is a discreet sign that the wearer has a hidden disability and may need additional support.

“The government has changed the rules on who can assist voters with disabilities at polling stations. At these local elections anyone over the age of 18 can go with you and help you cast your vote if needed. Whether a family member, friend or carer, they don’t even need to be eligible to vote themselves.

“All these extra measures make it easier for everyone to vote at a polling station, whatever their ability.”

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