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Ballot Papers: Visual Impairment

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the design of ballot papers for people with impaired vision.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government has improved the design and accessibility of ballot papers and forms at elections and referendums. This involved public user-testing of the revised voting forms, including the ballot paper, poll cards and postal voting statements. The work took into account the findings in the Electoral Commission’s “Making your mark” report and made improvements to forms which voters use in order to make voting as accessible as possible.

In partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Government is taking action to further improve the support provided at the polling station to voters with sight loss. This has included the testing of a tactile audio device to allow the voter to access candidate information, and, at the 12 December General Election, encouraging Returning Officers to allow the use of smartphones with specially designed apps for reading documents and video magnifiers to help them cast their vote.

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