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Just one in ten blind people could vote in election – RNIB report

15 October 2020

 

The RNIB has released a new report – Turned Out 2019 – about blind and partially sighted people’s experience of voting in the 2019 General Election. 

Voting is a fundamental democratic right, but the current voting system relies on sight and simply does not work for blind and partially sighted people. Provisions to help blind and partially sighted people to vote were declared unlawful in May 2019.

The research found:

•        Just over one in ten blind voters and less than half of partially sighted voters could vote independently and in secret in the 2019 general election.

•        Less than half of blind and partially sighted people are satisfied with their experience of voting. 

•        More than half of blind people reported being unable to read any information regarding the election sent to them by local councils, including poll cards. 

The RNIB is working with the Cabinet Office to make voting in the polling station accessible and hopes to have improved training for staff and a new audio solution in place for the 2021 election. The report also recommends that the government reviews the accessibility of the postal ballot system and makes sure that information like polling cards are sent out in voters’ preferred formats. Read more here: https://www.rnib.org.uk/campaigning/priority-campaigns/voting-and-elections/turned-out-2019-latest-research-voter-experiences