Polls Apart: Opening elections to disabled people
At the 2010 election, we asked disabled people to tell us about the accessibility of their voting experience. Over a thousand people did just that and we have used this feedback as the basis for our report.
Access to voting: what did we find out?
There were accessibility barriers at 67% of polling stations surveyed. That’s an improvement of only 1% on the last general election, and just 2% on the election before.
47% people who told us about their postal voting experience reported accessibility issues.
In some ways, things got worse: in 2005 70% of polling stations had large ballot papers on display, but this dropped to only 49% in 2010.
What needs to be done to make elections more accessible?
The current system for voting is inflexible and limited, and whilst good guidance is available it’s often not properly implemented – local authorities need to do more to improve accessibility
For all disabled people to vote independently and in secret, real change is needed – a wider range of voting options should be available, including online voting.
Greater representation of disabled people in public life needs to be supported and would have a positive impact on the whole system.
Download the Polls Apart 2010 report (PDF download, 679kb).