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Improving the accessibility of elections

Everyone should be able to register and cast their vote without facing barriers.  A person with a disability may not know their voting rights, have the confidence to cast their vote or face issues when going to a polling station or voting by post.  

First Time Voters Form

A First Time Voters Form may help someone that finds the process of voting hard or confusing.  The First Time Voters Form is a form that holds information of a registered voter so that staff at a polling station can make sure they can help in the right way.

The registered voter hands the First Time Voters Form to the member of staff who will then check the details on the register and offer help and assistance throughout the process of voting.

The staff member will not be able to vote on the person's behalf, or indicate who they should vote for but offer guidance on where to mark the ballot paper against their choice to make sure it isn't rejected.

The voter will then be shown to the ballot box, where the ballot paper needs to be put in to ensure it is stored securely.

If you, or someone you know may benefit from this please get in touch with the elections team on 01304 872344 or by email at vote@dover.gov.uk. 

To apply for a First Time Voters Form, you must be registered to vote and vote at a polling station (not by post).

Polling station accessibility

The voting process should be accessible to all voters. We offer a range of support for disabled voters to enable them to vote independently or with assistance.

To help make polling stations accessible we provide:

  • ramps where needed so polling stations are wheelchair accessible
  • large print versions of ballot papers to view
  • pencil grips to attach to pens or pencils when marking the ballot paper
  • magnifiers to use when reading guidance or marking the ballot paper
  • Tactile Voting Device, to enable blind and partially sighted people to mark their ballot papers independently
  • friendly and helpful polling station staff who will make reasonable adjustments where possible

You will be required to provide photographic ID when voting in a polling station.

A copy of the Electoral Commission's 'Easy Read Voting Guide' can be accessed and downloaded from the following link - Easy Read Guide

Support in the polling station

If you are a disabled voter or require additional support to complete a ballot paper on your own, you can take a friend or relative to the polling station to help you. Our polling station staff will also be available able to help you.

You can ask someone to:

  • assist you moving around the polling station
  • read out the candidates' names and parties on the ballot paper in order
  • explain the voting options to you
  • use their knowledge of your communication methods to understand who you want to vote for
  • come into the polling booth with you
  • mark the ballot paper with your decision if you permit them to do so

 

Someone else cannot:

  • decide for you on who to vote for
  • mark the ballot paper against your wishes
  • stop you from voting because you have a disability or require additional support

 

Additional support

Please let the polling station staff know if you need any additional support to be able to exercise your right to vote.

For example, if you need:

  • someone to read out the candidates on the ballot paper
  • to be shown a large print ballot paper
  • to use the Tactile Voting Device
  • someone to help mark the ballot paper with your decision, either someone who has accompanied you or the polling station staff
  • to be assisted in moving around the polling station

Reader accessible ballot paper

When there is an election, a list of all the candidates will be provided below in a format that works best with audible readers and web-based reading technologies.

They can be listened to whilst using a Tactile Voting Device at the polling station.

The Reader Accessible ballot paper for the Pariliamentary General Election for the Dover and Deal Constituency on 4 July 2024 can be accessed here accessible ballot paper

The Reader Accessible ballot paper for the Pariliamentary General Election for the Herne Bay and Sandwich Constituency on 4 July 2024 can be accessed here accessible ballot paper

Additional information

More information on accessibility at elections can be found on the Electoral Commission's website by clicking here.