Voting by phone enabled for disabled

KEVIN NORQUAY
Last updated 10:49 31/07/2014

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Disabled New Zealanders will be able to cast their votes from home by telephone and find it easier to enrol and vote for the 2014 general election.

Telephone-dictation voting is a new addition to the Electoral Commission's aim of providing information and access to voting services for people with disabilities.

The telephone-dictation service has been developed with testing and input from the Blind Foundation and Blind Citizens New Zealand, the commission said.

"We're pleased to be able to introduce this service for voters who are blind, partially blind, or have a physical disability that prevents them marking their ballot paper without assistance," chief electoral officer Robert Peden said.

"For the first time, we can offer these voters the opportunity to cast a secret ballot, from home, via telephone.

"It is a great addition to the range of accessible information and resources we create to support the rights of people with disabilities to take part in New Zealand's general elections."

Information is also available online, by video, by sign language or in braille.

"Having a say on election day is the right of all New Zealanders," Peden said.

"Our goal is to make sure that everyone gets the information they need, in the way that best works for them." 

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