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The Parliament Magazine published an opinion piece of our president, Jyrki Pinomaa, on voting rights of people with intellectual disabilities.
Here is the easy-to-read version:
In the last two European elections
we saw that not so many people go to vote.
For this reason, this year the European Parliament
is doing a campaign to tell people
to go to vote.
The campaign is called #ThisTimeImVoting.
In many European countries, people with intellectual disabilities
who live under guardianship
are not allowed to vote.
Inclusion Europe made a survey on this topic.
We asked our members about the voting rights
of people with intellectual disabilities.
These are the results:
- In 10 countries, they have full voting rights.
- In 11 countries, a judge or a guardian
can take this right away from them.
- In 6 countries, they have no voting rights.
Often voting is very difficult
for people with intellectual disabilities.
A survey in the United Kingdom found out
that many people with learning disabilities want to vote.
But many also say that they find it too difficult.
So even if they want to do vote, they don’t do it.
In many countries there are problems:
- Information is not easy-to-read
- Politicians speak in a difficult way
- People with intellectual disabilities
are not allowed to bring
a support person to the voting booth.
Making elections more accessible
for people with intellectual disabilities
is not very hard.
There are many projects that
people with intellectual disabilities
These projects show that
we can make elections more accessible.
For most people with intellectual disabilities
voting is really important.
The Hungarian self-advocate László Bercse said:
“For me it is very important
to vote at the European elections.
I care about who is going to represent me
in the European Parliament.
I would like the European Parliament
to make decisions which are good for me
and for other people with disabilities.”
People with intellectual disabilities
know what they need
and they want to vote.
So we need to make sure
that they can vote.