DPA made a submission to the Ministry of Justice and the Electoral Review Panel on the Independent Electoral Review.
There are many systemic issues that affect disabled people’s full participation in society, particularly in relation to voting. DPA made several recommendations to address these issues, including:
- Government work to remove the systemic barriers facing disabled people in political participation;
- Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People be a party to the Independent Electoral Review process;
- Ministry of Justice engage more fully with tāngata whaikaha Māori to ensure that a Te Tiriti o Waitangi informed approach to access is taken;
- the party vote threshold be set at 4%;
- the Parliamentary term in Aotearoa New Zealand be set at 4 years;
- all prisoners, regardless of sentence length, should be allowed to vote and that the process of voting while in prison should be accessible;
- Section 80 of the Electoral Act 1993 be repealed as it is inconsistent with the Government’s obligations under the UNCRPD;
- residential care facilities be reminded that they should support people to vote and that surveys of a sample of disabled people in residential care be taken on election issues following each general election;
- there be a review of electoral enrolment forms to update any outdated disability language;
- if political parties receive state funding, then this must be linked to the duty to make both internal and external party processes, procedures, and all election material accessible;
- all election television broadcasts should be captioned, audio described and interpreted into New Zealand Sign Language;
- the Electoral Commission be given a legal duty to ensure that election policies, procedures and materials are accessible to disabled people;
- local government elections be overseen by the Commission; and
- the Electoral Commission review all electoral laws to ensure they do not discriminate against disabled people, and that they are designed and monitored to ensure they positively promote, encourage, and enable disabled people to fully participate in the electoral process.
Read the full DPA submission on the Independent Electoral Review [Word Doc].