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Elections (Visually Impaired Voters) Bill

This is the text of the Elections (Visually Impaired Voters) Bill, as presented to the House of Commons on 16 July 1997.

Elections (Visually Impaired Voters) Bill
1.Provision of braille template.
2.Provision of large print ballot papers, etc.
4.Short title.





Make provision for blind and partially sighted people to vote unaided in person at elections through the use of braille template and large print; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Provision of braille template.     1. - (1) The Secretary of State may, after consultation with such bodies as appear to him to be representative of the interests of blind persons and such other bodies as he thinks fit, amend any parliamentary or local government election rules contained in, or made under, the Representation of the People Act 1983 for the purpose of allowing blind and partially sighted persons to vote unaided by means of a braille template.
      (2) Amendments under subsection (1) above shall not be made unless a draft of them has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
Provision of large print ballot papers, etc.     2. In the Representation of the People Act 1983, in the Parliamentary Elections Rules in Schedule 1, after rule 39, there shall be inserted the following new rule-
"Provision of large print ballot papers, etc for partially sighted persons
 39A. - (1) If a voter makes an application to the presiding officer to be allowed on the ground of partial sight to mark his vote on a large print ballot paper and the presiding officer is satisfied that the person is so incapacitated, he shall grant the application.
      (2) If an application is granted to a voter under sub-paragraph (1) above, the presiding officer shall provide the voter with-
    (a) a ballot paper;
    (b) a notice in the form given in the Appendix giving directions for the guidance of the voters in voting; and
    (c) a copy of the notice required to be displayed in every compartment of every polling station under paragraph 29(5) above;
  printed in a typeface not smaller than fourteen point, and the voter may mark his vote on that ballot paper in accordance with rule 37(2) and (3) above."
Expenses.     3. In so far as any provision of this Act increases the amount of the sums to be charged on and paid out of the Consolidated Fund under the Representation of the People Act 1983 on account of the charges of returning officers, the increase shall be so charged and so paid.
Short title.     4. This Act may be cited as the Elections (Visually Impaired Voters) Act 1998.

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© Parliamentary copyright 1997
Prepared 12 February 1998