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Voting if you have a disability

Register to vote
Accessing the polling station
In the polling station
Other methods of voting

We are keen to encourage people with disabilities to use their vote.

The Electoral Commission accessibility on polling day (opens new window) and My vote My voice - quick guide to voting (opens new window) give some useful information about voting including easy to read guides.

Registering to vote

You can apply to register to vote online, visit Gov.UK - register to vote (opens new window)

You will need to give your date of birth and National Insurance number. GOV.UK registering to vote easy read guide (opens new window)tells you how to do this.

If you are partially sighted or visually impaired visit GOV.UK - register to vote accessible formats (opens new window).

The Electoral Commission has also published guides with information on how to register and how to apply for a postal or proxy vote in British Sign Language (BSL), Easy read and audio.

If you need help with registering to vote, please contact the elections team on 0191 433 3963 or visit register to vote for more information.

Accessing the polling station

  • most polling stations which have a car park, have a disabled car parking space close to the access door
  • all polling stations will have an accessible entrance. If the accessible entrance is through an alternative to the main door, it will be sign-posted
  • if you need more information about access at a particular polling station, please call the election team on 0191 433 3963 or email

In the polling station

We are here to help all voters with disabilities to vote in the polling station. Polling station staff will be wearing a badge so that you can identify them. If you need help just ask.

There are several things available:

Low-level disabled polling booth

A low level disabled polling booth is available if you are a wheelchair user or you need to sit while casting your vote.


Chairs are available for people waiting to vote who need them.

Tactile voting device

An aid known as a 'tactile device' provides support for voters with sight loss, can be placed onto the ballot paper to help you to vote without assistance. 

Large print ballot paper

A large print copy of the ballot paper is available at the polling station, however, you must still vote on the official ballot paper that you are given by the polling station staff.


Magnifiers can provide support for voters who are visually impaired to vote independently by increasing the size of the text on a document.

Pencil grips

Pencil grips are available and can help voters with dexterity impairments to more easily hold and use a pencil independently.

Listen and translate

Recite Me tool is available on our webpages to read aloud and translate candidates from each ward. 


If you have a disability or inability that prevents you from completing a ballot paper on your own, or for any reason you need support to be able to vote, you can take a relative or friend to the polling station to assist you

The presiding officer can help you fill in your ballot paper if you need their help.

Other methods of voting

If you don't want to go to the polling station or are not able to go in person you can vote by post or you can get someone to vote on your behalf - a proxy.

Postal vote

If you want to arrange a postal vote (opens new window), you will need to apply by filling in a postal vote application form. You will need to give your date of birth and signature when you apply.

If you can't sign your postal vote or can't sign consistently for medical reasons a signature waiver is available. Please call the election team on 0191 433 3963 for more information.

At election time your postal ballot pack will be sent to your address about two weeks before the election.

Proxy vote

If you can't go to the polling station, you can ask someone you trust to go to your polling station to vote on your behalf. Visit GOV.UK apply for a proxy vote easy read guide (opens new window) or for more information call the election team on 0191 433 3963.