AD: Change voting conditions for disabled persons
The General Elections Act does not consider persons with disability as persons but rather as votes, Alternattiva Demokratika spokesperson for disability issues and sport Claire Azzopardi Lane said.
Dr Azzopardi Lane explained that people with a disability are required to have the voting room closed while 3 to 6 Assistant Electoral Commissioners (AECs) aid the voting process. This process is experienced during general elections, European Parliament elections, local council elections and national referendums, she explained. “Persons with disability have rightly claimed that it is obviously a very awkward feeling to have to close the voting premises off, and leave a queue of people waiting outside. Furthermore three to six persons who represent the Electoral Commission will get to know who you are voting for, as the voter is required to speak out his choice in order for his vote to be significant”.
AD Deputy Chairman Cacopardo considers that there should be a national discussion as to whether and under what conditions, a voter would be entitled to be assisted during voting by a “trusted person” selected by him/herself. “Such a procedure would obviously not be limited in applicability to persons with disability but also to other categories, including persons who cannot read or write”.
An AD statement read; “The AD believe that people with disability have insisted that choosing to have a single trusted person of their choice would make the voting process more private and appropriate. They claimed that if such a trusted person (of their choice) was entrusted with their bank details then she could also be entrusted with assisting them when voting”.
Another measure the AD would like introduced regards people with physical disability’s rights to accessible information technology, which are available on the market when it comes to voting.
When referring to the rights of persons with intellectual disability, the AD considers that the current system requires an overhaul. The AD have also asked for more awareness regarding Braille voting ballots for blind voters in its statement.