Do persons with disabilities have the right to vote by secret ballot in elections?


Question 20 asks about the right for all people to vote by secret ballot in elections. Respondees, very uniquely, are very criticial in Northern America, whereas especially African countries give outstandlingly positive answers. A more in-depth analysis reveals a variety of issues that stand in the way.



This indicator is the highest of all 22, at 1.5 worldwide. Respondents from highly developed countries seem to be especially critical about the access to this fundamental right, when all aspects are considered.


Individuals declared incompetent by a court loose the right to vote.

People with intellectual disabilities do not have the right to decide themselves who assists them in the ballot box when they have the need for such assistance.

It is hard to maintain the secrecy of voting due to the lack of compliance with conditions and standards of accessibility.

While this right is granted by law, the accessibility of voting centres is at its minimum level.

The law allows persons with disabilities who require assistance with voting to go with a person of their choice. However, there were situations in 2010 elections where some staff in the polling stations prevented visually impaired persons from using their personal assistants and forced them to be assisted by the polling staff.

South Sudan

Some disabled persons, for example, sight and hearing, may receive screening help.

Depends on the type of disability, for example, blind people require the support of another person, since the ballots are paper.