Disability Voter and Non-Voter Satisfaction Survey 2011

Background and method

The Electoral Commission commissioned Colmar Brunton to conduct a survey with voters and non-voters in 2011.  Similar surveys were conducted on behalf of the Chief Electoral Office in 2002, 2005, and 2008.  The primary objectives of the survey are to:

  • ascertain voter satisfaction with the services the Electoral Commission provides,
  • understand what the barriers to voting are, and how to address these for each identified population group.

The 2011 survey also included a further objective which was to ascertain levels of understanding about the Referendum on the voting system.

Colmar Brunton were commissioned to undertake the 2011 voter and non-voter survey with a booster survey of those with a disability.  This report is based on the data obtained from disabled respondents.  The results from the main survey are contained within another report.

The disability booster survey sample was gathered from two sources: a) 171 interviews obtained in the main voter and non-voter survey – which was mainly sourced by a national telephone survey (with face-to-face boosts of the Pacific and Asian population) and b) 402 interviews obtained from disabled respondents from Colmar Brunton’s online research panel.  The sample includes anyone from these two sources who identified themselves as ‘having a disability that is long-term (lasting six months or more)’.  

Summary of findings

Previous voting behaviour

  • 97% of voters with a disability and 54% of non-voters with a disability (who were eligible to vote in 2008) voted in the 2008 General Election.  
  • Voting
  • 80% of voters with a disability went to a polling place on Election Day.  18% went to an advance voting place, 1% voted from a hospital or a care home, and 1% voted using papers delivered by mail.
  • 65% of voters with a disability did not require help with voting.
  • 45% of voters with a disability and 6% of non-voters with a disability would prefer to vote in person at a polling place or advance voting place.
  • 39% of voters with a disability and 62% of non-voters with a disability would prefer to vote online.
  • 12% of voters with a disability and 17% of non-voters with a disability would prefer postal voting.
  • 53% of non-voters with a disability knew they could vote before Election Day (this is not significantly different from the general population of non-voters).  61% of those who did not know said they would have voted in advance if they had known about this option.  
  • 23% of voters with a disability and 10% of non-voters with a disability said they knew you could vote by post.

Disability information

  • 60% of voters with a disability recall seeing electoral information specifically produced for people with a disability.  The most commonly recalled sources were the booklet on enrolling and voting (31%), the poster about enrolling and voting (29%) and disability information on the Electoral Commission’s website  (22%).
  • 40% of non-voters with a disability recall seeing electoral information specifically produced for people with a disability.  The most commonly recalled sources were the poster about enrolling and voting (23%), disability information on the Electoral Commission’s website (19%), and the booklet on enrolling and voting (15%).

More voters with disabilities found the disability information sources useful than not useful.  The following figures show the proportion of voters with a disability that rated either a 4 or 5 out of 5 for usefulness.

  • Brochure in large print – 80%.
  • www.elections.org.nz – 78%.
  • Animated clips – 64%.
  • Booklet on enrolling and voting – 63%.
  • Articles and information in disability newsletters – 59%.
  • Brochure on what to do if you can’t get to a polling place – 54%.
  • Captions on advertisements – 51%.
  • Poster on enrolling and voting – 46%.
  • Audio clips online – 40%.

Other disability resources were not used by survey respondents.

Other advertising and information

  • 94% of voters with a disability and 68% of non-voters with a disability recall receiving the EasyVote pack in the mail.
  • 74% of voters with a disability were satisfied with the EasyVote pack.
  • 41% of non-voters with a disability were satisfied with the EasyVote pack.  
  • 57% of voters with a disability and 42% of non-voters with a disability had seen ‘other’ advertising about voting (either for Parliament or in the Referendum).  This did not including: the EasyVote pack, disability specific information, or political advertising.  This advertising was mostly seen on TV.
  • 56% of voters with a disability and 20% of non-voters with a disability found this other advertising useful.
  • 73% of voters with a disability, and 60% of non-voters with a disability, said they did not require further information about voting. Among those who requested further information, the most common request was for further information on the Referendum voting systems (12% of all voters with a disability wanted more information on the voting systems, and 6% of non-voters with a disability).

Polling place

  • 60% of voters with a disability who went to a polling place, did so with family members.  9% of voters with a disability said they were accompanied by non-family members.  
  • 48% of voters with a disability voted in the morning (before noon), 46% voted in the afternoon (between noon and 5pm), and 6% voted in the evening (after 5pm).  
  • 87% of voters with a disability brought the EasyVote card with them to the polling place (similar to the general population of voters).  
  • 39% of voters with a disability said they only spent up to five minutes at the polling place.
  • 97% of voters with a disability said the length of time spent was ‘about right’.
  • 53% of voters with a disability saw ‘easy to access doorways and corridors at the polling place’, 47% saw a wheelchair ramp, 47% saw a disabled parking space, 45% saw easy to access paths from the car park to the entrance, and 43% saw desk voting facilities at the polling place.
  • 75% of voters with a disability were either ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with the voting facilities.

Most voters with a disability rated the voting process as either 4 or 5 out of 5, the proportions giving these scores are outlined below.

  • Clear instructions on how to cast Parliamentary vote (84%).
  • Ease of finding name of person or party for Parliamentary vote (85%).
  • Clear instructions on the Referendum voting paper (69%).
  • Ease of finding the options on the Referendum voting paper (74%).
  • Electoral staffs’ ability to answer questions (88%).
  • Pleasantness and politeness of Electoral staff (90%).
  • Efficiency of Electoral staff (87%).
  • How well Electoral staff provided for needs of disabled (82%).

Election night results

  • 71% of voters with a disability and 40% of non-voters with a disability said they followed the Election results.  Most watched the results on TV (95% of voters and 90% of non-voters who followed the results).
  • 83% of voters with a disability were satisfied with the timeliness of results.
  • 62% of non-voters with a disability were satisfied with the timeliness of results.

Non-voters

  • 68% of non-voters with a disability said they ‘considered voting at some stage’ in the run up to the Election.
  • 42% of non-voters with a disability decided not to vote on Election Day.
  • 44% put ‘a lot of thought’ into their decision not to vote, 33% put ‘a little thought into it’, and 22% did not put any thought into it.
  • 79% of non-voters with a disability knew when and where they could vote.
  • The main overall reasons for not voting were: health reasons (25%), the polling place being too far away or not having transport (24%), cannot be bothered voting (8%), makes no difference who the government is (8%), and my vote doesn’t make a difference (8%).

Compared with non-voters in the general population, non-voters with a disability were more likely to give the following reasons for not voting:

  • health reasons (25% of non-voters with a disability vs. 6% of non-voters in the general population),
  • polling place too far away/no transport (24% vs. 3%), and
  • makes no difference who the government is (8% vs. 2%).

Knowledge of the Referendum

  • 96% of voters and 68% of non-voters with a disability were aware of the Referendum.
  • 68% of voters with a disability said they knew ‘a lot’ or ‘a moderate amount’ about the referendum and 35% of non-voters with a disability said they knew ‘a lot’ or ‘a moderate amount’.
  • 77% of voters and 59% of non-voters with a disability said they felt ‘very confident’ or ‘fairly confident’ about making a decision in the Referendum.

 

Last updated: 27 November 2012