Polling station voting
The Returning Officer has a duty under law to make reasonable adjustments, and provide the necessary equipment to remove barriers faced by disabled people at the polling station.
Some of the ways we do this include:
- we ensure, as far as possible, that polling stations have either level access or a suitable ramp.
- polling stations have adequate lighting and we provide extra lighting where required.
- large print copies of ballot papers are available to help partially-sighted voters identify where their selected candidates appear on the ballot paper.
- tactile voting devices are available to assist Braille users in marking the ballot paper. Staff are trained in the use of these devices.
- we provide magnifiers to help voters read the ballot papers.
- at least one polling booth shelf at a height suitable for wheelchair users.
- the ballot box is always positioned on a chair, rather than a table, which allows for easier access by wheelchair users.
- all polling station staff receive training on assisting voters with different kinds of disabilities.
- we review polling stations regularly, through both formal reviews and by collecting feedback from staff and voters following each election.
- a message is included on poll cards for polling stations that some people may find more difficult to access. Poll cards include information on applying for a postal or proxy vote.
- where a polling station has car parking bays, we ensure that spaces are reserved for disabled voters.
- we provide copies of each ballot paper in Braille format.
- election notices are published as web content where possible, rather than in PDF format to help users of screen-reading software.
- pencil grips are available in polling stations.
- staff wear badges so that they are easy to identify.
Please speak to a member of staff in the polling station if you need assistance, have questions about how to cast your vote, or if you have any suggestions for improving the voting process for disabled people.
Any person aged 18 or over can act as your companion if you require help marking your ballot paper, or the Presiding Officer can assist you.