Voting and Elections: know your rights and options

With the EU referendum approaching, we want disabled people to have a clear understanding of their voting rights and options.

We know that in the past disabled voters have struggled to cast their ballot. We want to make sure all voters, disabled and non-disabled, have the right to vote independently and in secret. If you are registered to vote, you cannot be refused a ballot paper or the chance to vote on the grounds of mental or physical impairment.

How to vote


You can vote in person at your local polling station. Before an upcoming vote, you will be sent a polling card if you are registered to vote. This card will tell you the location of your local polling station. Don’t worry, you don’t need to bring your polling card with you on polling day.

Your polling station should be  open from 7am to 10pm.

All polling stations should be wheelchair accessible and support disabled voters. If you need assistance on polling day, you can ask a member of staff, called a Presiding Officer.

If you need to use a disabled parking space, these should be clearly visible and monitored throughout the day.


Can’t get to your local polling station? You can register to vote by proxy. Voting by proxy means that you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

Voting by proxy can be useful if you are worried that you won’t be able to get to a polling station on polling day. For example, you may have an on-going illness. You can complete and post a Proxy vote form, which is available online.

You and the person you nominate to vote on your behalf must be registered to vote.


Voting by post means that you will be sent a ballot form to mark your vote via post.

Voting by post can be useful if you are worried that you won’t be able to get to a polling station and would rather keep your vote secret.

You will need to complete and post a Postal vote form, which is available online.

Additional support

Presiding Officers

If you are voting in person at a polling station, there are a number of ways the staff, called Presiding Officers, can support you to vote.

Don’t worry if you can not mark your ballot paper, Presiding Officers may mark your ballot paper for you. You may also attend the polling station with someone who you would like to mark your ballot paper on your behalf.

Polling stations should be accessible for everyone wishing to vote. If for whatever reason your local polling station isn’t accessible, Presiding Officers should provide you with a ballot paper and allow you to vote outside of the polling station.

Tactile Voting Devices

Polling stations should provide tactile voting devices.

The tactile voting device attaches on top of your ballot paper. It has numbered flaps (the numbers are raised and are in braille) directly over the boxes where you mark your vote.

A Presiding Officer or someone you have attended the polling station with can read out the list of candidates. You can then use the large numbered flaps to find the part of the ballot paper you wish to mark with your vote.

Large Print and Magnifying Assistance

Polling stations should provide large print versions of ballot papers.

Polling stations should also provide magnifying assistance. These magnifying sheets can be placed over standard and large print versions of ballot paper to make them easier to read.

Presiding Officers should be able to provide these aids on request.

What if my polling station isn’t accessible?

If you visit a polling station and find it inaccessible, you can complain to your local authority. You can find out the contact details of your local authority online.

You can also contact your local Electoral Commission office to find out more information.

Feel great with a bank holiday clear out!

Bank holidays. A to-do list. The two go hand in hand with an extra day to get those jobs done and de-clutter our homes.

Clear out your clutter

This bank holiday why not box and bag up toys, clothes, books, old phones and anything else you think needs a new home.

As summer, hopefully, approaches now is a great time to bag up those winter clothes you never wore, box up toys the children no longer play with and we all have that one cupboard for storing general clutter with no clue what is inside! This Bank Holiday we have the very solution – and you can get the kids on board too.

Box overflowing with toys


Bank holiday to do list

Step one: Fill a bag
Step two: Drop it off at Scope
Step three: Feel great!

Now that we’ve given you your list of things to do, be ruthless and start this May clutter-free. Simply fill up as many bags as you can with clothes, shoes, DVDs, games, old mobile phones and take it to your nearest scope shop. It’s that easy and you will feel great in so many ways.

Clothing hanging up
Clothes hanging up

Gift Aid it!

A little bit more effort can make all the difference. Please Gift Aid your bag of goods. This means that for every £1 we make we can claim an extra 25p from the Government. Take a look at our Gift Aid terms and conditions.

That great feeling

In addition to having more space in your wardrobe, around the house and in the garden, by donating your stuff to one of our 240 shops, you will be helping us to support disabled people and their families. Every bag you donate raises about £20 to fund our work which is dedicated to making this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.

For more information on how you can support us, please visit our website.