More than half of blind and partially-sighted voters consider new “accessible” methods such as online voting as necessary according to a new report by the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB).
The report, Turned Out 2017, calls for the voting system to change to enable vision impaired voters to be in “sole control of their right to a secret ballot”. The charity surveyed over 400 blind and partially-sighted voters covering the recent General Election. Only 1 in 4 said the current system allows them to vote independently and in secret.
As part of their recommendations, the RNIB are calling on the Government to introduce an online voting option “for blind and partially-sighted people to vote independently and in secret.”
WebRoots Democracy’s recent report, Inclusive Voting, came to similar conclusions and calls upon the Government to pilot online voting and for the EHRC to explore whether disabled voters’ right to a secret ballot is being breached by current provisions.
Responding to the RNIB’s report, Areeq Chowdhury, chief executive of WebRoots Democracy said:
“The evidence for the demand and necessity of online voting is overwhelming. A true democracy should empower all voters to be able to cast independent ballots in elections. The Government should listen, respect, and respond to the needs of vision impaired voters. Inaction on this issue is not an option.”
Download the RNIB’s report here.
Access the Inclusive Voting report here.