Did you know that about half of the blind or and partially sighted people surveyed after the elections last year felt they could not vote independently or in secret?
A Royal National Institute of the Blind survey, Turned Out 2016, found that 50 per cent of the 300 visually impaired people surveyed faced barriers to voting in the local and devolved elections and the referendum on membership of the European Union.
But blind and partially sighted voters have the right to be able to vote independently and in secret in all elections including the General Election on 8 June.
By law, local authorities must take steps to ensure that polling stations are accessible. They must provide a large print copy of the ballot paper for your reference, but you must still cast your vote on a standard print ballot paper. They must also provide a tactile voting device to help you cast your vote.
If you need assistance to vote, you can request somebody, either a polling station staff member or your own companion who is an immediate family member over 18 years of age or an eligible voter, to help you at the polling station. They can help guide you and can also vote on your behalf.
Those who are unable to get to a polling station to vote could appoint someone they trust to complete a proxy vote on their behalf at the polling station or apply to vote by post instead. If you do a postal vote you can cast your vote in your home using your own magnifiers and equipment.
To vote in the General Election on 8 June you need to register to vote on the UK Government website by 11.59pm on 22 May. If you are already registered, you don’t need to register again. You need to register for a postal vote by 23 May. Register through the UK Government website.