Electoral Register: Disability

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 28th November 2017.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) joining up existing disability registers with the electoral register and (b) recording preferences on accessing information on the electoral register.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

Holding answer received on 15 November 2017

In response to the recent Department of Health consultation on the future use of the CVI, I expressed my support to allow someone to provide their consent for the local authority to use the information to provide support at elections for blind and partially sighted voters, and my officials are currently working with their DH colleagues to determine how this can be implemented.

Local authorities already hold a register of partially sighted and blind people and are expected to use this information to ensure that election communications are provided to named citizens in accessible formats.

On 5th September, at the meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Learning Disability, I launched a Call for Evidence to support the Government’s commitment to ensure the electoral system is accessible for all electors. The deadline for responses was 14th November 2017 and around 250 responses have been received.

The Government, in partnership with the members of the Cabinet-Office-chaired Accessibility of Elections Working Group, which includes representatives from leading charities and key electoral stakeholders, will now review the evidence received and produce a report of key findings and recommendations. The aim is to publish the report in Spring 2018.

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