I don’t know about you, but first thing tomorrow I intend to get up bright and early and exercise my mandate. Then I might vote…
Just my little joke, but I’m sure most of you are like me – you want your voice to matter in tomorrow’s election. But what if your voice is not heard, in fact, not even registered, as happened to Adam Lotun, who’s been in the news recently? Adam went along to his local polling station fully expecting to cast his vote just like everyone else, but left disillusioned and frustrated.
Why? Because nobody had really thought about what true accessibility means. Adam wanted the same voting experience as everyone else. Instead, because the ramp had not been properly thought through, he couldn’t get in, so the ballot paper had to come out to him. Adam didn’t want to vote in the street, in full view of the public. It was insecure and undignified, so Adam refused. He never got to vote.
That’s silly, I hear you say, why didn’t Adam simply get a postal vote? But here’s the issue – why on earth should he have had to? As far as we’re concerned here at Revitalise Towers, it’s a matter of dignity and choice. Adam wanted to vote in person, as he always had before, but was denied the choice through apathy and woolly thinking. That, my friends, is not good enough. I mean, think about it – the electoral authorities have five years to find suitable premises to use for just one day and they still can’t get it right!
We’ve been campaigning on the issue of dignity and choice in voting for disabled people and we’ve found some shocking things. Did you know, for instance, that only three of the 50 most marginal constituencies had adequate access info for wheelchair voters online? 88% had no info at all! And these are seats where just a handful of votes could swing the seat either way!
It’s crazy – and just to illustrate the crazy, we’ve made a video called the Perils of Polling. It’ll make you laugh, then it’ll make you think. Please join us in our call for equal rights for disabled voters now!
I wish you all a happy Election Day!