May 27, 2020

People with disabilities will have tools on Sunday to facilitate their right to vote

Thus, these elections are accessible to blind or visually impaired people who have requested the 'voting kit' accessible. As explained by ONCE sources to Europa Press, in Spain there are about 72,000 blind people affiliated with the organization, of which a high percentage are Braille users who have been able to request the 'voting kit' accessible and exercise their right to vote in secret, like other citizens.

It is an accessible type of vote that, for the moment, is used in the general, European and regional elections. However, in the municipal elections it is not yet available, according to the aforementioned sources, because times are complicated and the multiplication of electoral lists.

From the ONCE, the Spanish Braille Commission is responsible for verifying that the Braille support ballots are well made and thus ensures the correct and accessible vote. According to data from the Ministry of Interior to which Europa Press has had access, for these elections a total of 884 kits have been requested throughout Spain, compared to the 895 votes in Braille that were requested in the generals of April 28.

The province that has processed the largest number of applications is Madrid with 171 requests, followed by Barcelona with 136; A Coruña (59) and Valencia (57). On the other hand, no application has been registered in the autonomous city of Ceuta and in the province of Palencia.

For its part, the Spanish Confederation of Families of Deaf People (FIAPAS) collaborates with the Ministry of the Interior in the installation of magnetic loops for deaf people, users of hearing aids (hearing aids and / or implants), designated member of the polling stations , either as a holder or as a substitute.

The objective of this collaboration, as indicated by Europa Press from FIAPAS, is "to guarantee the right of people with deafness to participate in political life on equal terms, allowing access to any information for members of the polling station and facilitating the interaction between them and the voters. "

In this sense, remember that the magnetic loop allows communication to people with deafness in spaces and situations contaminated by ambient noise, as is the case of polling stations, in which the distance with the interlocutor or the presence of several interlocutors make it difficult Sound reception

The procedure to have this tool is as follows. Once the deaf person receives the notification to be a member of the polling station, he must request this free resource for FIAPAS to proceed to the installation. However, so far, no request has been received, while two magnetic loops were requested in the April 28 elections.

On the other hand, according to Interior figures to which Europa Press has had access, a total of 17 deaf people, three less than in the last elections of April, have exercised their right to request sign language interpreters during the day Election this Sunday, after being called to participate in the polling stations.

Of these, seven are from Galicia (three holders and four alternates) and four table holders from Andalusia, while in Aragon (alternate), Basque Country (alternate), Principality of Asturias (holder), Valencian Community (alternate), Extremadura (substitute), Castilla y León (alternate) an interpreter has been requested in each one.


In addition, a total of 1,047 polling stations in Aragon, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, Navarra and the autonomous city of Melilla will have signs in these general elections that will make these spaces easier for people with intellectual disability

The last elections of April 28 were the first elections in which all persons over 18 years of age were able to exercise their right to vote, thanks to the reform in the last Legislature of the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime (LOREG), which ended with the veto to 100,000 citizens with intellectual disability or mental illness incapacitated judicially.

Full Inclusion has been the main driver of this experience that is developed experimentally in locations of six communities and an autonomous city. In Extremadura (900) and in the autonomous city of Melilla (23), the initiative will cover all polling stations.

The signage consists of 16 images with which the electoral college is identified abroad and the voters are oriented towards access. Then, once inside, they are directed to the voting booth and the voting table.


One of the historical demands of the group of people with intellectual disabilities is the adaptation of electoral programs of political parties to 'easy reading', with a language that is easier to understand so that people with cognitive disabilities can exercise their right to vote on equal terms as other citizens.

For these elections, Unidos Podemos and Ciudadanos have adapted their programs, which can be found among the materials available on the 'My vote counts' website of Plena Inclusión. For its part, the PSOE has assured that it also has this format, while sources of the PP have recognized that they do not have a version of 'easy reading' and Vox has not clarified offers this version or not.


Regarding the degree of architectural accessibility of the electoral colleges, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (Cermi) recalls that there are no official global data, only "approximations based on projections of complaints received".

In this sense, the Cermi calculation is that, although both electoral and universal accessibility legislation requires that all polling stations are accessible, at least 30 percent have serious deficiencies and another 15 percent show deficiencies that Without being so accused, they make it difficult to exercise the right to vote for people with disabilities.

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