Ahead of the local elections on Thursday 4th May, The Include Champions Group has created a FREE Easy Read guide to voting for people with communication difficulties.
Here is the audio to listen to the guide: https://soundcloud.com/include-org/voting-like-a-champion?
The My Vote, My Voice group have accessible information about voting on their website too.
Our Champions have been sharing their experiences:
During Covid times, Hannah, one of our Champions voted by post. But gradually she has decided to go to a Polling Station.
She knows she can ask for help from the people working there but Hannah has become more confident over time about being independent when voting in person.
First, she talks about it with her family and thinks really carefully about who she wants to vote for. She now votes independently.
The Include Champions pointed out that if you live in supported accommodation, or a block of flats you might not get someone knocking on your door or putting a flyer through your door about their party. So, it’s not always easy to get information to be able to make a choice about who you want to vote for.
Despite that, our Champions did know about The Conservative Party, SDP (Social Democratic Party), Liberal Democrats, Labour Party, Green Party, Heritage Party and The New Forest Party. There are lots of options and you can talk to your friends and family and get ideas to help you make a choice about who to vote for.
Ellie voted by post – you need to register to do this before the election. Ellie’s Mum helped her do this online.
Voting in person
Some people prefer to vote in person. David said that it is too far to walk to the polling station, so he needs to ask for help / transport to get there.
Remember your Photo ID to vote in person.
If you are voting on your own and don’t know what to do, you can always go into the polling station and say “I am here to vote, please can you tell me which desk to go to.”
The helpers can’t actually tell you which party to vote for – that has to be your choice.
Apparently, all the polling station staff have been trained to look out for sunflower lanyards – so they know that people may want to be offered extra help. So, you can wear one if you have one.
Changes (set out in The Elections Act 2022) are designed to boost the political participation of people with disabilities in voting and standing as political candidates. The Local Government Association provides support to disabled councillors and those considering standing for election to their local council.
You can read more about it here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9718/
Communications and Partnerships Manager