Voting if you have a disability

What support is available?

All voters have the right to vote independently and in secret. Voting in local and general elections should be accessible however you choose to vote.

A range of support is on offer for disabled voters. Take a look at the sections below to find out more about registering to vote, how we make our polling stations accessible, and the different ways that you can vote. We have also included a list of resources which can be used to provide further information about voting and elections if you are supporting a voter with a disability. 

 

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  • You can apply to register to vote online by visiting www.gov.uk/registertovote. An easy to read, step by step guide to using this service is available to download from the UK Government website. 

    The Electoral Commission has produced a large print application form for partially sighted voters which is available to download from their website. 

    Guides containing information on how to register and how to apply for postal or proxy voting are also available from the Electoral Commission in British Sign Language (BSL), easy read and Braille. You can access these resources by contacting the Electoral Commission on 0800 3 280 280.

    If you need assistance or have any questions about the registration process please contact the Elections team using the contact details at the bottom of the page. 

  • The following resources have been designed to provide information on voting and elections for voters with disabilities. Please note that by clicking on the links below you will be taken to an external website. 

    Every Vote Counts is a resource project created by United Response. It was created with input from people with learning disabilities and is designed to provide easy to understand information on voting and politics. 

    Mencap have produced a range of guidance on voting and registering to vote which you can download from their website. 

    RNIB can provide further information about accessible voting options and the right to vote independently and in secret for people with sight loss. 

    United Response have produced a number of resources, including easy read guides, on accessible voting. 

    The UK Government has produced an easy to read, step by step guide on registering to vote for the first time. 

     

  • When you have registered to vote, you can vote in person at a polling station. You will be sent a poll card before an election which will tell you where to go in order to vote.

    If you are unsure what to do when you arrive at the polling station, you can ask the polling station staff. You can also bring someone with you to help.

    A useful guide is available from Mencap which provides more information about what happens on the day 

    Want to know more about visiting a polling station before you visit? Mencap have also produced a virtual polling station experience which you could try before you go. 

  • Your poll card, sent before the election, will tell you the location of your polling station.
     

    • The majority of our polling stations are wheelchair accessible and can provide a ramp for access. The accessible entrance may be different to the main door, this will always be signposted. Most polling stations have a car park with a dedicated marked disabled space close to the access door.
       
    • Inside the polling station, a low-level polling booth suitable for wheelchair users will be available.
       
    • Large print ballot papers are available to view in every polling station. Please be aware that these can only be used for reference, you must still use a standard sized ballot paper to cast your vote as this is required by law.
       
    • An aid known as a ‘tactile voting device’ or TVD is available at every polling station to enable blind or visually impaired voters to vote without assistance. 
       
    • Guide and other assistance dogs are allowed in polling stations. We aim to provide polling booths in quiet areas where possible to support those with guide and other assistance dogs.
       
    • If you are a disabled voter and require support completing your ballot paper, you can take a friend or relative to the polling station to help you. The person supporting you should be a close companion and they will be required to complete a companion declaration form to indicate that they have recorded the vote truthfully.
       
    • On the day, you can also ask for assistance from the polling station staff. The Presiding Officer can help you to cast your vote – they are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy and your vote will remain secret.
       
    • If you need to familiarise yourself with the polling station before you vote, please speak to the polling  station staff who can assist you.
       

    If you need more information about access at a particular polling station, or have any queries, please contact our Elections team using the contact details at the bottom of the page.

  • If you do not wish to attend the polling station or are unable to vote in person you are entitled to vote by post or by proxy.

    Voting by post

    If you vote by post your ballot paper and postal voting pack will be sent to your address about 10 days before an election. To vote by post you are required to provide your signature, but if you cannot sign consistently for medical reasons you can apply for a postal vote signature waiver. Please contact the Elections Team for more information about this.

    You can find out more about postal voting on our How to Vote page. 

    Voting by proxy

    Voting by proxy means appointing somebody that you trust to vote on your behalf. Your appointed proxy can also apply to vote by post, so they do not need to be someone who lives locally.

    You can find out more about appointing a proxy to vote on your behalf by visiting our How to Vote page. 

    Power of Attorney (POA)

    Please note that Power of Attorney does not apply to voting on behalf of someone else in person or by post. You must be formally appointed as a proxy in order to vote on another person’s behalf.

Electoral Services Team - Broadland

Address: Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road, Norwich, NR7 0DU

Telephone: 01603 430483

Electoral Services Team - South Norfolk

Address: Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road, Norwich, NR7 0DU

Telephone: 01508 533704