Population with a disabilityaccording to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate
Ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 38 states:
(1) Persons entitled to vote who, on the election day, are likely to be unable to cast their vote before the competent elections authority, for example due to being absent, for health reasons or due to a stay abroad, have the right to be issued with a voting card.
(2) The right to be issued with a voting card is also given to those voters who are unable to cast their votes in the polling stations because of lack of transport or of being bedridden either in a hospital or at home for reasons of age or any other reason, or because of being under arrest in a prison, in an offenders institution or in police custody and who want to exercise their right to vote in the presence of a special authority (§ 73, para 1), as long as they have not been deprived of it ac- cording to the regulations set out in § 72 or § 74.
Article 39, paragraph 5 states:
The following applies to the handing over or delivery of voting cards applied for:
(1) If the voting card is handed over personally, the applicant shall sign a confirmation of receipt. If the applicant is unable to do so, a note is to be recorded on file.
(2) For patients in hospitals and nursing homes (§ 72), if the voting card is sent by mail by means of a registered letter, the voting card is to be ad- dressed exclusively to the recipient personally. In that case, the letter is to be marked with the notice "Not to authorized mail recipients".
(3) If voting cards are delivered by messenger to the persons referred to in item 2, the confirmation of receipt must be personally signed by the patient. If the applicant is unable to do so, a note is to be recorded on file.
(4) In the case of applicants not referred to in item 2, the voting card, if sent by mail, is to be sent by registered letter unless the voting card was applied for orally, the electronically filed application carried a qualified electronic signature, or the voting card was issued ex officio upon application according to § 2a, para 6, or § 9, para 4 of the Voters’ Index Law 1973.
(5) If voting cards are delivered to persons not referred to in item 2 by courier or by way of an Austrian official representation, § 16, paras 1 and 2 of the Service of Documents Act is to be applied by analogy, with the proviso that a voting card can also be handed over to persons entitled to vote who have not yet reached the age of 18. The voting card can be handed over without any evidence, if it was applied for orally or the electronically filed application carried a qualified electronic signature.
(6) Voting cards applied for in writing, which are personally collected by the applicant, may be handed over by the municipality only in return for a confirmation of receipt. If the applicant is unable to provide such a confirmation, a note is to be recorded on file. If a voting card applied for in writing is handed over to a person authorized by the applicant, that person must confirm receipt of the voting card...
Article 52, paragraph 5 states:
In accordance with the technical possibilities it has to be made sure that in each municipality, in Vienna in every municipal district, there is at least one polling station which is easily accessible for handicapped people. Suitable assistances for blind voters as well as those who are hard of hearing getting to the polling station are also to be planned for.
Article 66 states:
(1) The elections authorities have to supply ballot paper templates in order to make it possible for the voters who are blind or hard of hearing to cast their vote autonomously. Physically or mentally handicapped voters or those with visual or auditory difficulties can be assisted in the casting of their vote by a person chosen and confirmed by them to the returning officer. …
(2) Voters who are unable to fill in an official ballot paper without the help of another person are considered to be handicapped or having visual or auditory difficulties.
(3)…Every vote cast with the assistance of an accompanying person is to be entered into the record.
(4) Any person who pretends to be blind, hard of hearing or otherwise handicapped commits a violation of the official regulations and will be punished by the district administrative authority…
Article 72 states:
(1) In order to facilitate the casting of votes by patients in hospitals and nursing homes, the municipal elections authorities and in the City of Vienna the Vienna City Administration, may set up one or more special wards in the area of these institutions. In these cases the regulations set out in § 52 and § 54 are to be taken into consideration. The acceptance of votes that are cast by other persons present in hospitals and nursing homes is permissible.
(2) If wards are formed according to para 1, the patients who are able to walk have to cast their votes in the polling station administered by the respective ward elections authorities in accordance with para 1. The same applies to patients who are able to walk who cast their vote by means of voting card.
(3) In order to collect the votes of bedridden patients in the institutions mentioned above, the responsible district elections authority according to para 1 can also enter into the rooms of the patients concerned. In such cases appropriate facilities have to be set up (such as for example a wooden frame covered with material, or a similar device) to ensure that the patient can fill in the ballot paper and put it in an envelope given to them by the returning officer, without being observed by any other person in the room.
(4) Furthermore, provisions of this federal law, and especially those in § 39 and § 40 as well as § 68 and § 70 concerning the participation in the elections and the exercising of the right to vote by voting card, must also be observed by voting according to paras 2 and 3.
Article 73 states:
(1) In order to facilitate the casting of a vote by voters voting by a voting card issued to them on demand according to § 38, para 2, the municipal elections authorities and in Vienna the Vienna City Administration have to set up, not later than on the twenty-first day before election day, special elections authorities which visit these voters during the settled time of voting…
(2) …The acceptance of votes that are cast by other persons present during the casting of votes by voters voting with voting card who are bedridden or otherwise incapacitated is permissible…
(4) In the interest of maintaining the secrecy of the vote…These elections officials have to then add the sealed envelopes taken from the bedridden patients or the voters who are otherwise incapacitated from the respective regional constituency to their own election results so that these cannot be differentiated…
Article 7, paragraph 1 states:
All nationals are equal before the law. Privileges based upon birth, sex, estate, class or religion are excluded. No one shall be discriminated against because of his disability. The Republic (Federation, Laender and municipalities) commits itself to ensuring the equal treatment of disabled and non-disabled persons in all spheres of everyday life.