Voting Methods: Visual Impairment

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 20th January 2023.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department has to trial new accessible voting devices to ensure that all blind and partially sighted people can vote independently and in secret.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Elections Act 2022 is improving the way support is provided to disabled voters and places a duty on Returning Officers to provide assistive equipment in polling stations, wherever reasonable, to support voters with a wide range of disabilities, taking account of people's varying needs. The Electoral Commission are producing statutory guidance to support Returning Officers to carry out this new duty, which is currently undergoing statutory consultation. This is an area the Government keeps under review and we are aware of some organisations developing devices aimed at supporting voters with sight loss. We will be interested to engage with suppliers, the elections community and representative organisations in considering the effectiveness of these, and any other products, to support disabled voters participate better in the democratic process.

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