In October 2020, the disabled persons' organization Fight for Right developed several videos to support the local Ukrainian election and increase voter education for persons with disabilities. The videos are a part of the Team Up for Inclusive Elections Project and supported by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Global Affairs Canada. A transcript of the video is available below.
Narrator: On October 25th, 2020, local elections took place in Ukraine in times of COVID-19. This year, the disability rights organization Fight for Right worked with election management to establish three model accessible polling stations.
What makes a polling station accessible? An accessible entrance, ramps, lower tables make it easy for wheelchair users, and other restricted mobility groups of people to get and fill in their ballots. There should also be enough space in the voting booths and on the polling station itself for people to move freely. In addition, the polling station must have accessible toilets.
During local elections, all polling stations in Ukraine were provided with QRL codes on their informational posters on how to vote. After scanning the code, the person was redirected to a page with audio sign language interpretation of information on how to vote correctly.
All election commission staff received manuals that include information on how to make the election process more accessible. Voting booths in these model polling stations had enough space for persons with disabilities to enter and easily vote on their own or with assistance from a trusted person.
Being able to vote independently and in secret is an important right for all voters, including voters with disabilities. Throughout the process, all people maintained safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessible elections are a democratic right of every citizen.