All New Zealanders have the right to have their voices heard, and the Electoral Commission has worked closely with the disability sector over the past few years to make it easier for people with disabilities to enrol and vote in general elections.
The Access 2020 disability strategy takes the improvements made over the past three electoral cycles and embeds them into a longer-term framework, through which the Commission aims to identify and reduce barriers that disabled people may encounter when enrolling and voting at elections.
The Access 2020 disability strategy is available to download as a PDF or Microsoft Word file below.
Supporting disabled people and their families, whānau and caregivers to participate at elections is the focus of the Commission’s disability strategy. We want to continue our work to identify and reduce barriers that disabled people may encounter when enrolling and voting at elections.
In 2014, the Commission will continue all of its initiatives from the 2011 general election, including:
- information in accessible formats including Braille, large-print, audio format and screenreader files
- information and consultation opportunities in New Zealand Sign Language
- DVD resource kits and facilitation guides for voters with an intellectual disability
- Plain English resources including posters, booklets and DVDs
The Commission has also consulted on a proposal to extend telephone dictation voting services to voters who are blind or visually impaired or have another disability that means they are unable to vote independently and in secret.
The Commission has been working closely with its Australian counterparts on the feasibility and design issues around telephone dictation voting.
An amendment to the Electoral Regulations is required to enable the expanded dictation voting service and the Government plans to amend the regulations in March 2014. The dictation voting process will ensure that the voter registers to confirm their details and then separately casts his or her vote to ensure the secrecy of the vote.