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Voting Methods: Visual Impairment

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Lisa Forbes Lisa Forbes Labour, Peterborough

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure blind and partially-sighted people are guaranteed privacy when they cast votes at elections.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Assistant Whip

All eligible voters should be able to cast their vote in secret and the Government through the Cabinet Office chaired Accessibility of Elections Working Group is working to make elections more accessible. This has included working in partnership with the RNIB and Electoral Commission to make improvements to training materials for polling station staff to provide better support to voters with sight loss.

The proposals announced as part of the package around the Queen’s Speech, will bring forward legislative measures that respond to issues raised in the Government’s response to the 2018 Call for Evidence on Access to Elections. This will include increasing the range of support available to voters with sight loss in polling stations, with a dedicated sub-group of the Accessibility of Elections Group Working researching potential solutions. Disabled people including those who are blind and partially sighted will also benefit from an increased range of support that can be provided at the polling station (such as carers).

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