I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. The template that is available for blind voters, along with the training of its use by polling station staff is totally unfit for purpose. Blind and partially sighted people have no way of knowing that their vote has been cast successfully and we often have to waive our democratic right to a secret ballot.
Today was no exception for me. If I hadn’t known about the template, I would not have been offered it as the form was just handed to me with no offer of help.
The template had not been cut down to size so was far too big for the form, making it unwieldy.
Despite asking for the template to be stuck down to the form this wasn’t done. The member of staff offered to hold it in place for me.
I declined this offer as I wished to vote alone. However, I realised, as I was making my mark, that the member of staff was still hovering just behind me.
When I removed the template the member of staff immediately tried to take the form from me rather than waiting for me to fold it and place it in the box.
The whole thing is a farce for blind people and no one’s listening.
The ballot template was not secured to the paper so I have no way of knowing that my form was not spoilt. On top of this I did not get to vote in privacy and secret.
Look back through my blog at previous election dates and you’ll find similar stories. Nothing changes.