DPA made a submission on the Interim Report of the Independent Electoral Review. The report has recommendations about how to make our election system clearer, fairer, and more accessible for current and future generations.

We support many recommendations in the report. We are particularly pleased to see the recommendations on the accessibility of voting places for disabled people and we strongly endorse the recommendation that a person need not speak their name to staff at polling places.

Online voting was ruled out of scope for this review, which we find disappointing. Telephone Dictation Voting may be ‘secret’, but it is not a disabled person casting an independent ballot. There are many disabled people who would be able to have an independent secret vote if an online voting option was available.

There are also several recommendations we do not support or wish to see substantially changed.

We don't support the scope of the Election Access Fund being broadened to allow political parties funding to make their campaigning materials accessible to disabled voters as this would jeopardise the primary purpose of the fund which is to remove barriers that disabled political candidates face that non-disabled candidates do not face.

We believe that political parties should be responsible for making their election material accessible to disabled people, however we do not believe that it is appropriate for political parties to be publicly funded to do this.

Accessible information needs to be treated as business as usual, particularly for all information intended for public audiences, so that it becomes embedded in practice across Aotearoa/ New Zealand. It should not be seen as an optional extra that has to be publicly funded.

Read the full DPA Submission on the Interim Report of the Independent Electoral Review [Word doc].