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General Elections: Learning Disability

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 7623, tabled on 30 October 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) party manifestos, (b) voter registration information and (c) polling booths are made accessible to people with learning disabilities during the parliamentary general election.

Answered on

4 November 2019

The Government, through the Cabinet Office chaired Accessibility of Elections Working Group, has taken a number of steps to remove barriers that people with a learning disability face in registering to vote and voting at elections. These include:

(a) Facilitating direct engagement between the Royal Mencap Society and political parties through the Westminster Parliamentary Parties Panel on the benefits and timings of producing Easy Read versions of party manifestos, to assist people with a learning disability to make an informed decision when voting at elections.

(b) Introducing on the Register to Vote homepage an ‘Easy Read’ guide produced in partnership with the Royal Mencap Society, to enable people with learning difficulties to apply online without difficulty.

(c) Improving training materials for polling station staff, including the Electoral Commission and the Royal Mencap Society producing videos setting out the voting experience of people with a learning disability at the polling station. A disabled voter can be assisted to vote in the polling booth to mark their ballot paper by the presiding officer or their companion.

Answered by

Cabinet Office