Are reasonable accommodations available to assist voters with disabilities in voting on their own and in secret in polling stations and public spaces?

Explanation

Reasonable accommodations enable all persons with disabilities to vote in situations where it would otherwise not be possible for them to vote, taking into account the needs of all people with physical, visual, hearing impairments and people with intellectual disabilities and learning difficulties.

In detail

35% of respondents stated there is legal duty to provide reasonable accommodation for people with particular disabilities or only for some elections, while 33.4% claimed there is a legal duty to provide such accommodations for all voters with disabilities. The major issues observed were:

  • Limited accommodations:  Technology and inaccessible infrastructures: No available braille ballots or sound system in electronic voting machines, or limited especially for blind, hard of hearing and people with intellectual disabilities
  • Training: Voting officers lack in training to assist PWDs
  • Legislations supporting accessible voting accommodations often lack in implementation strategies

Respondents also noted positive alternatives for voting procedures such as supportive laws promoting the implementation of accessible voting accommodation transportation of the ballot box from room to room to facilitate voting in hospitals and certain residential institutions, toll-free information line for those with a hearing impairment, sign-language DVD with open- and closed-captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing among others.