Absent voting: Visual Impairment

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 22nd October 2020.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the findings by the Royal National Institute of Blind People in their report entitled Turned out 2019 that 68 per cent of blind postal voters and 22 per cent of partially sighted postal voters at the December 2019 General Election had to use assistance from another person to enable them to vote, what plans he has to review the accessibility of the postal vote system.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Royal National Institute for Blind People's report entitled Turned out 2019, published October 2020, what plans he has to ensure blind and partially sighted people can receive their poll cards in preferred formats.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to publish the names of candidates and their order on the ballot paper in advance, online and in local election offices to allow blind and partially sighted people to know in advance where they wish to place their vote on the ballot paper.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to ensure that blind and partially sighted people can receive their poll cards in preferred formats.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that blind and partially sighted voters are made aware of the support they can expect to receive at polling stations to allow them to vote independently and in secret.

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

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote and has already been working with the RNIB to improve the voting process for voters with sight loss.

It is important for security purposes that a physical poll card is sent to every elector at the property where they are registered, but we have already considered how electoral information might additionally be made available in more accessible format for those who request it.

Returning Officers already publish details of candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper online. We will work with partners in the electoral sector to ensure this information is accessible.

The Government will continue to work with the RNIB, the Electoral Commission and other relevant organisations to make blind and partially sighted voters aware of the support available to them at the polling station, and to consider what additional support could be provided to help blind and partially sighted people to vote including by post.

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