Your vote: accessible voting, safety and support

On 5 May, elections will take place across Scotland, England and Wales. We look at the importance of voting and what accessible information is available to support you.

On 5 May, multiple elections will take place across the UK. You can find out if there’s an upcoming election where you live on the Electoral Commission website.

Voting in an election is a free way to have your say on the area you live in and wider government policies that affect things like welfare reform and benefits.

Understanding each political party’s intentions, laid out in their manifestos, is important in deciding who you want to vote for, and your vote shouldn’t be influenced by friends’ or family’s opinions, but by what you think.

People with a disability have the same rights to vote as everybody else.

Support

If you are registered to vote, you will do this by post, by proxy or in person. If you have decided to vote by post, you should have received a postal voting pack in the post including the ballot papers for the election taking place and have sent this back to your local elections team. If you didn’t receive your postal vote, contact your local team.

If you have already signed up to vote by proxy, you have asked someone you trust to cast your vote on your behalf. Before this person goes to the polling station, make sure they know who you would like to vote for.

If you will be voting in person on Thursday, there is support available to help you cast your vote. You should have received a polling card through the post, this tells you where to vote and what time the polling centre is open.

The staff at your polling place are there to assist you if you need it. There are a number of things at the polling place to help you cast your vote, this includes a large print sample ballot paper and a tactile voting device to help if you have a visual impairment.

If you would like to, you can take your phone into the polling booth to use magnifier or text-to-speech apps, or your phone’s torch to improve lighting. You cannot take photos in the polling station.

You can also bring someone with you to help if they are over 18 and eligible to vote.

Information

The Electoral Commission, an independent agency that sets standards for how elections are run in the UK, have worked with different organisations to help everyone vote.

Mencap, RNIB and United Response have worked with the agency to produce guides that help people with a learning disability or sight loss to take part and vote in elections.

These guides can also be helpful for people who support a person with a learning disability or sight loss.

Mencap and United Response have created multiple easy read guides for the different elections taking place this May. RNIB has also produced three pocket guides ahead of these elections.

If you have questions or want further guidance on support ahead of an upcoming election, contact your local electoral registration office.

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