Polling station accessibility

Polling station accessibility

The voting process should be accessible to all voters. We offer a range of support for disabled voters to enable them to vote independently or with assistance.

To help make polling stations accessible we provide:

  • Ramps where needed so polling stations are wheelchair accessible
  • Adapted level polling booths for wheelchair users
  • Large print versions of ballot papers
  • Pencil grips to attach to pens or pencils when marking the ballot paper
  • Large magnifiers to use when reading guidance or marking the ballot paper
  • Tactile Voting Device, to enable blind and partially sighted people to mark their ballot papers independently
  • Training for polling station staff based on guidance from the Royal National Institute for the Blind on how to assist people with visual impairments and blind people
  • Friendly and helpful polling station staff who will make reasonable adjustments where possible

If you do not want to vote at a polling station, you can vote by post or by proxy.

Support in the polling station

If you have a disability that prevents you from completing a ballot paper on your own, you may take a relative to the polling station to help you to vote.  Anyone over the age of 18 can act as a companion to assist a disabled voter in a polling station. Before helping you, your companion must complete a simple companion declaration form at the polling station to indicate that they have recorded the vote truly and faithfully.

You can also ask the Presiding Officer at your polling station to assist you.

You can ask someone to

  • Assist you moving around the polling station
  • Read out the candidates' names and parties on the ballot paper in order
  • Explain the voting options to you
  • Use their knowledge of your communication methods to understand who you want to vote for
  • Come into the polling booth with you
  • Mark the ballot paper with your decision if you permit them to do so

Someone else cannot

  • Decide for you on who to vote for
  • Mark the ballot paper against your wishes
  • Stop you from voting because you have a disability or require additional support

Additional support

Please let the Presiding Officer know if you need any additional support to be able to exercise your right to vote.

For example, if you need

  • Someone to read out the candidates on the ballot paper
  • To be shown a large print ballot paper
  • To use the Tactile Voting Device
  • Someone to help mark the ballot paper with your decision, either someone who has accompanied you or the polling station staff
  • To be assisted in moving around the polling station
  • If you would like to make a request before polling day for additional equipment or support in your polling station, please email electoral.services@rotherham.gov.uk or call 01709 823590.

Report an accessibility issue

If you find an accessibility issue at a polling station, please report this by emailing electoral.services@rotherham.gov.uk or call 01709 823590.

Guide for voters with a learning disability

Read the Mencap guides on voting and registering to vote.

Read the My Vote My Voice guide on voting and registering to vote.

British Sign Language (BSL) videos:

If you’re a carer or support worker, the My Vote My Choice campaign provide helpful online information for carers and how to support people to vote.