Home Your Council Voting & Elections Information for voters with a disability

Registering to Vote

You can click below to access a step-by-step guide for help with registering to vote.

Step-by-step guide to registering to vote.

If you are unable to use the Register to Vote website to register, you can call Electoral Services on 0115 876 4111 to register over the phone. 

 

Voting in a Polling Station

Support for voters with disabilities 

We offer a range of support for voters with disabilities at polling stations, including:

  • Accessible venues (wherever possible) to ensure all voters can access the polling place without any obstructions or barriers
  • A low level polling booth for wheelchair users 
  • 2 large print versions of ballot papers (one for display and one for voters to take into the booth with them, if required)
  • A Tactile Voting Device (TVD) – a plastic overlay designed for blind and partially sighted voters, which is applied to the ballot paper by the Presiding Officer or a companion (details below) who will then read out the names of each candidate, so that the voter may mark their ballot paper themselves.
  • Pencil grips to assist those with dexterity issues
  • A small handheld magnifier (plastic credit card size)
  • Ballot box slot highlighted for the visually impaired
  • Ballot box placed at a low level
  • Additional chairs (where space allows) for people to rest when necessary

In addition to the above, the Returning Officer also allows voters with disabilities to use any text-to-speech apps, torch or magnifier that they have on their phone, to assist them in reading their ballot paper, even though mobile phones are generally not permitted to be used in polling stations.

 

How to use a Tactile Voting Device (TVD)

The device is fixed to the ballot paper by a low tack adhesive strip and is lined up to ensure that the numbered flaps are located directly over the boxes on the right-hand side of the ballot paper, in line with each candidate.

The numbered flaps are embossed in black on the surface, which show up against the paper and are also identifiable by touch.

The companion or Presiding Officer read out the names and descriptions of each candidate in the order they appear on the ballot paper or the voter uses the large print ballot paper to assist them in identifying which number candidate(s) they wish to vote for. It is also possible, that the voter may already know who they wish to vote for, if they have visited the website prior to polling day to identify the number(s) of the candidate(s) they wish to vote for.

To cast their vote, the voter lifts the relevant flap to reveal the box on the ballot paper of the candidate(s) they wish to vote for and makes their mark(s). The device is then removed from the ballot paper and the ballot paper is folded and placed in the ballot box.

 

People who can provide assistance

If you need support to complete your ballot paper, you can take anyone over the age of 18 to act as a companion to assist you at the polling station. 

You can also ask the Presiding Officer at the polling station to help you fill in your ballot paper. They are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy and your vote will remain secret. If you know which candidate(s) you wish to vote for, you can either use the TVD or instruct the Presiding Officer, in the privacy of the polling booth, to mark the ballot paper(s) on your behalf.

 

Candidate Information

To provide you with information about the candidates standing in your ward prior to attending the polling station, we publish the Statement of Persons Nominated on our website at each election once the nomination process has closed. This list shows the names of each candidate in the order they will appear on the ballot paper, along with their description i.e. party name or independent.

If you don't want to go to the polling station to vote, you can vote by post or vote by proxy. Further information on these different voting methods can be found below. 

 

Voting by Post

A guide on voting by post can be found by clicking below. Further guidance and the Postal Vote application form can be found by clicking here

Voting by Post Guide

The Electoral Commission has created the following video outlining the process of voting by Postal Vote.

Voting by Proxy

A guide on voting by Proxy can be found by clicking below. Further guidance and the Proxy vote application form can be found by clicking here

Voting by Proxy Guide

The Electoral Commission has created the following video outlining the process of voting by Proxy Vote.

Additional Guidance

The charity United Response has produced an easy read guide on voting in local elections. It provides details on what you are voting for, and also how to fill out a ballot paper in a polling station. The guide can be accessed by clicking the below link. 

United Response Easy Read Guide

The charity Mencap have also produced a guide on how to vote in a polling station which can be accessed by clicking below. 

Mencap Guide - Voting at a Polling Station

The charity Makaton has produced a guide to voting in person at the polling station which can be accessed by clicking below. 

Makaton Guide - Voting at the Polling Station

The Electoral Commission has created the following video outlining the process of voting in person at the polling station.