Interior extends measures to facilitate accessible voting for people with disabilities

May 26, 2024 | Featured, Interview, Portada, Post, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Ministry of the Interior, in collaboration with Plena Inclusión, has deployed a series of initiatives for the European elections on 9 June to guarantee accessible voting for all people with disabilities.

Accessible voting for people with disabilities in the European elections.Accessible voting for people with disabilities in the European elections.

This includes people with cognitive disabilities (cerebral palsy, autism, Down’s syndrome, etc.), thus meeting the demands of these groups who have been fighting for years for the full participation of these citizens in political life.

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Facilitate accessible voting for people with disabilities

Among other measures, it is worth highlighting the extension to the capitals of all the autonomous communities of the signage system that was tested in the polling stations of Madrid during the 2023 elections and which has gradually been replicated in other elections. This signage system offers clear and simple messages that help citizens with cognitive problems, mainly the elderly, people with intellectual disabilities or reading and writing difficulties, to find their way around the polling stations.

They are a series of pictograms that graphically indicate the location of the polling station, the booths, the opening hours of the polling stations or the main steps to vote, among other issues.

The signs have been designed by the ISO 22727:2007 standard on the creation and design of public information symbols and their comprehensibility has been assessed by the UNE-ISO 9186 quality standard and with the participation of 158 people with intellectual disabilities. The signage system includes an easy-to-read installation guide.

Government delegations and city councils will be responsible for coordinating the installation of 44,133 signs at polling stations in the capitals of the autonomous communities. This signage will be visible in Barcelona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Logroño, Madrid, Mérida, Murcia, Oviedo, Palma, Pamplona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Zaragoza, Ceuta and Melilla.

Support for polling station members with disabilities
Persons with disabilities may also be appointed as polling station members, and therefore, to guarantee their full participation in the electoral process, the Administration places a series of support tools at their disposal.

On the one hand, people with cognitive difficulties will be able to access table manuals adapted for easy reading and available in the five co-official languages (Spanish, Catalan, Valencian, Galician and Basque). In addition, voting officers and proxies also receive recommendations on how to ensure full accessibility for voters with this type of disability, as well as on how to interact with them in the most respectful way possible.

On the other hand, deaf or hearing-impaired people will have free sign language interpretation and magnetic induction loop services.

Meanwhile, blind or deaf-blind people, both incumbents and substitutes, will have the support determined by the Electoral Board of the Zone.

Accessible Kit
Visually impaired persons have the accessible voting kit, which includes ballot papers, envelopes and complementary documentation in Braille, allowing them to select their voting option with complete autonomy. These voters must request in advance their wish to have this support tool.