Improving accessibility of elections

The following provisions are in place to improve the accessibility of elections:

Wheelchair access

  • All polling stations are wheelchair accessible, ramps are provided if needed.
  • Every polling station has a low-level polling booth. It's suitable for most wheelchair users and people of short stature.

Voting aids for visually impaired or blind people

  • Large print versions of ballot papers are available in every polling station, these can be used as a reference. By law, you must cast your vote on a standard print ballot paper
  • Tactile devices can be used to mark the ballot paper without support. It is fixed to the ballot paper and has a strip which covers each option on the ballot paper and has the corresponding ballot number underneath. These numbers are embossed in black and can be identified by touch. When the relevant flap is lifted, it will show the relevant box to cast your vote. The device is then removed, and the ballot placed in the ballot box
  • Voters with disabilities are welcome to use text-to-speech apps or other assistive equipment as required to read documents to mark their ballot paper.  

Help from a companion

If you have a disability which prevents you from marking your ballot paper on your own, you can bring someone with you to the polling station to mark your ballot paper for you. Your companion must be over 18 years old on the day of election and must complete a companion declaration form to state they have recorded your vote truly and faithfully. Companion declaration forms can be obtained from the Presiding Officer of the polling station on the day of election.

Help from polling station Presiding Officer

If you have a disability which prevents you from marking your ballot paper on your own, the Presiding Officer of the polling station can help you vote. Presiding Officers are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy, and you can be confident your vote will remain secret.

Assistance animals 

Assistance animals are welcome inside polling stations.

Other ways of voting

If you do not want to go to the polling station to cast your vote, you can vote by post or proxy

Voting by post means we will send you a posting voting pack so you can complete your ballot paper at home and return it in the post when elections take place. You will not need to attend a polling station on the day of election.

Find out about postal voting

Voting by proxy means nominating someone you trust to vote on your behalf. Voters with a disability can have a permanent proxy vote, where you can nominate a named other person to receive and mark your ballot paper on your behalf.

Find out about proxy voting

Further resources on accessibility

My Vote My Voice is a campaign to support voting for people with learning disabilities and autistic people who have created a step-by-step guide to voting.

The department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have created an easy read guide on applying for a Voter Authority Certificate.

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our service, please contact us.