Polling station accessibility

Learn about the accessibility measures put in place at polling stations.

Having the ability to have your voice heard in elections is vital to democracy. Therefore the way you vote in polling stations should be accessible to a range of voters with additional needs.

When voting in a polling station, we aim to remove as many barriers as we can and make reasonable adjustments when we are unable to remove a barrier to ensure you can use your vote.

For some, knowing what’s going to happen before going to a polling station is important to help reduce anxiety.

Other people might need support on polling day itself, from communicating their needs to independence using your vote. There are the supports that are put in place in polling stations.

Communicating your needs

If you have a question or need support, you can ask a member of staff at the polling station. They will be wearing name badges and are there to support you and help keep your vote secret.

Step-free access

Where possible, our polling stations have step-free access and ramps when requested. For some polling stations, this barrier is unable to be removed, and a portable, accessible polling booth for wheelchair users will be available on request.

As well as step-free access, polling stations will have seating as a place for voters who have difficulty standing for long periods to rest

For polling stations that have parking, disabled parking spaces will be reserved.

Support from a companion

A disabled person who would have difficulty marking their ballot can:

  • request the Presiding Officer to help mark their ballot paper for them - Presiding Officers are legally bound to secrecy, meaning they will not tell anyone who you voted for
  • bring someone over the age of 18 with them to the polling station to support them - this person will be able to mark your ballot paper for you and would need to complete a short form saying they have recorded your vote faithfully

Voting aids for blind and partially sighted people

  • every polling station will have a large print version of a ballot paper that can be requested - this can be used to support you, but you will have to use the smaller ballot paper to cast your vote
  • all polling stations will have a tactile voting device - this is something you put on top of your ballot paper, which covers each option with a number (raised text and in braille) and a flap to open to mark your ballot paper
  • magnifiers will be available in all polling stations
  • voters are able to use text-to-speech applications and other assistive devices as required to support them in reading and marking their ballot paper

Other adjustments available

  • you can bring your own pen/pencil
  • pencil grips are available in all polling stations
  • assistance animals are welcome to come into polling stations

For some people going out to the polling station can be inaccessible for a range of different reasons, from work commitments to disabilities. Because of this, there are different options to cast your vote through Postal voting and Proxy voting.