Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

The Blind Not Allowed To Vote In 2010

25 Nov 2010There was a story reported on an Australian news website back in September, about a man who lives in South Australia who is vision impaired and unhappy with his state’s current voting system for people living with a disability.

David Rankin’s claim that the State Electoral Commission was discriminating against him and other vision impaired voters, was dismissed by the Equal Opportunities Tribunal. The Commission stated that any changes to assist the blind and vision impaired at polling booths would be too costly and that there was no discrimination being carried out by them.

Mr Rankin’s complaint is certainly justified if you ask me. Because of our compulsory voting system and their non-willingness to alter the polling booths, people with vision impairments aren’t able to vote secretly as non-visually impaired people would, as they need assistance to fill out their forms.

The Equal Opportunities Tribunal declared that Mr Rankin’s dispute was attacking a policy rather than a personal case of discrimination and that is why there was no instance of discrimination from the State Electoral Commission against Mr Rankin recorded.

In other states in Australia and other countries around the world, there have been modifications done to polling booths so those with vision impairments can vote secretly and in private. This is definitely something that shouldn’t even be getting discussed in the year 2010. This should be a standard practice at all polling booths, especially in Australia, where we have no choice about voting.

NSW is one step closer to making the vision impaired private voting system a reality though, with a new legislation being introduced into the NSW parliament yesterday, and if passed, it will mean the implementation of a secure phone and internet voting system for NSW State Government Elections.

Currently there are around 100,000 residents in NSW, living with some sort of vision impairment, and if this new legislation is passed, it will give back the independence to many vision impaired Australians. Ms Kristina Keneally, the NSW premier, says that this system could also eventually be of use to people with other disabilities, people who live in rural areas or those living overseas.

Ms Keneally said the Federal election in August this year, saw Australia to become the first country in the world, to implement telephone voting for those who are blind or visually impaired. Ms Keneally is hoping to see the changes taking place by the 2011 State election. Let’s hope that this promise gets followed through to the end. To view Mr Rankin’s story, click here - http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/disabled-should-have-right-to-secret-vote/story-e6frea83-1225916024422


Would you like to comment on this article?

Name: 
Location: 
Comments: 
  Enter these characters into the red box
Please type the red letters and numbers into the red box above. This is to protect our system from SPAM and viruses.

Previous Comments

There are no comments for this blog post as yet. If you have recently commented then please be patient while your comment is reviewed by our staff.

Blog Archive

Focus on Ability 10th anniversary
Posted: 8 Feb 2018

Focus on Ability Short Film Festival 2017
Posted: 6 Jun 2017

2016 IASSIDD World Congress Day 4
Posted: 18 Aug 2016

2016 IASSIDD World Congress Day 3
Posted: 17 Aug 2016

2016 IASSIDD World Congress Day 2
Posted: 16 Aug 2016

A better way of describing the autistic spectrum
Posted: 2 Jun 2016

Ouch Disability Talk Podcast
Posted: 7 Apr 2016

Have you heard of Anosmia
Posted: 5 Apr 2016

When society thinks you'd be better off dead
Posted: 31 Mar 2016

I'm not being anti-social
Posted: 29 Mar 2016

Time to think about how to create a more inclusive Australia
Posted: 23 Mar 2016

World Down Syndrome Day
Posted: 21 Mar 2016

 
Copyright � 2018 Nova Employment & Training ProgramWeb Design: Steve Daniel