General Election: Does voting system discriminate against people with brain injuries?

New system and declaration of truth may prove difficult for these voters and other people with disabilities.

The government has recently reformed the way we register to vote and in view of the upcoming election has raised concerns. In the past, a household registration system meant the “head of household” had to register everybody in that household to vote. They were responsible for ensuring that the information they provided was accurate. Under the new system, voters have to register individually. A new online registration system meant this could be accomplished by most people in a matter of minutes, and people could also register by post. Registration closed on the 20 April, and in order to register, voters needed to supply information about their name (and any previous names), address (recent and previous addresses), date of birth and nationality, along with some proof of identity such as their national insurance number. They are individually responsible for confirming that this information is correct – a “declaration of truth”. Read more about memory difficulties related to brain injury. Some people with cognitive disabilities and memory problems may struggle to complete this declaration of truth, it has been suggested. This would then have an impact on people with a brain injury or other disability. Guidance from the electoral commission says third parties can assist a person with supplying this information but – crucially – the person must still have the mental capacity to make the declaration of truth. Click here to read more.
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