Voting With A Disability: Finally An Easier Way!22 Feb 2011
With the NSW State Election looming, this can cause some concern for those of us living with a disability.
Getting to your nearest polling place can be a hassle for the most agile person, but for someone with a disability, finding accessible parking, navigating around hills and stairs or for some, even just filling out your form without assistance can be a daunting task. As if disabled people don't have enough problems to deal with daily. For residents of NSW, you can finally rest easy.
iVote will be launched at last! What the hell is iVote you may be asking.... iVote is a voting system that has been developed for people with disabilities, allowing them to vote in an election using their telephone or via the internet.
The website is www.ivote.nsw.gov.au and went ‘live' on the 17th February 2011. If you would like to use this system to vote in the NSW State Election on Saturday the 26th March 2011, you will need to do a few things first.
To make sure that you're prepared, visit the iVote website and register, by clicking on the ‘apply to vote' button on the left hand side. You can also call 1300022011 if you'd prefer, and follow the prompts. Registrations are being taken up until 6pm, on Wednesday the 23rd March 2011.
Ensuring that you have previously enrolled to vote, once you have supplied your name and street name, the rest of your details will be accessed and entered in automatically for you. To continue with the registration, you will then be asked to choose a six digit password, once you have successfully registered, you will receive a letter in the post with an eight digit iVote number, and this will allow you to cast your vote for the 26th.
Voting using iVote can be done from 8am, Monday 14th March, right up until 6pm, Friday the 25th March. This system cannot be accessed on Election Day, but if you register and decide later that you'd prefer to vote in person at a polling booth, that's fine too, you can still vote the ‘old fashioned way'.
If you do choose to follow through with your iVote, you will need to log on to the iVote website and enter your six digit password that you chose, and your eight digit password that was sent to you, then vote as if you would in person on a voting form (it will all be easy to use and will be explained once you are logged into the website). For vision impaired voters, the website has been designed to operate with JAWS and Window Eyes, (software that has been developed for people with vision impairment).
This new system won't only be available to people with a disability, it can also be used for those who are illiterate or will not be within 20kms of a polling booth or will be out of NSW on Election Day. If you have any questions or are unsure if you would be eligible to use the iVote system, visit their website or call 1300022011.
I know I will definitely be taking advantage of iVote this Election Day, not just to try it out, but because I will be unable to get to a polling booth, so we'll see how it goes! Will you be giving it a whirl?