Presidential Election and Referendum 26 October 2018
In recent years the National Disability Authority (NDA) has worked closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government on the issue of accessible voting options for persons with vision impairments. In 2014 the NDA held voting trials on different methods to enable voting by persons with vision impairments. Among other recommendations emanating from these trials the NDA recommended that the option of a ballot template be offered for any future referendum.
The template was first used in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment that took place on 25 May 2018. It was available in every polling station and was used over 500 times; a figure that compares favourably with uptake for tactile ballot templates in Northern Ireland. The NDA was consulted by the Department prior to the public procurement process for these templates.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will now make two separate tactile templates available to voters with vision impairments who turn up to their local polling stations for the Presidential Election and the Referendum to be held on Friday, 26 October 2018.
In addition, they have also set up a free phone number that vision impaired voters can use to familiarise themselves with the Presidential candidates.