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Polling Stations: Disabled

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with the Electoral Commission on the access of people with disabilities to polling stations; and if he will make a statement. (205708)

My Department has regular discussions with the Electoral Commission on a range of electoral issues, including issues concerning the accessibility of the electoral process. The Government are keen to ensure that the electoral process is accessible to all electors. The Electoral Administration Act 2006 extends the duty placed on local authorities to review polling places to ensure that, as far as is reasonable and practicable, they are convenient and accessible for electors. Under the Act, local authorities must carry out a full review of polling places at least every four years, and representations can be made to the Electoral Commission in respect of reviews carried out by local authorities.

Under the Electoral Administration Act 2006, if certain prescribed persons, e.g. a local councillor, or 30 or more local electors, consider that the designated polling place is not suitable, they can make representations to the Electoral Commission to review the local authority’s decision.