Europe and Eurasia
Section 2.4 ("Voting procedures, ballots and facilities") of the Recommendation CM/Rec (2011) 14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life from the Council of Europe states:
Member states should pay due attention to the importance of accessible rules and procedures before and during elections at all levels, as well as at other occasions when citizens are invited to participate in the conduct of public affairs. Accessible ballot papers and facilities should be available at the time of voting. Information about accessibility of voting procedures, ballots and facilities, through communications in easy-to-read and to understand formats, should be largely disseminated in advance, in order to encourage citizens to participate in political and public life.
Universal Design principles should help to ensure that existing obstacles hampering access to the physical environment, goods and services, information and communications, in particular as regards voting procedures and ballots, are removed and that no new obstacles are created. The objectives and specific actions set out in Action Lines No. 6 “Built environment”, No. 7 “Transport”, No. 3 “Information and communication” and, as appropriate, the provisions of the relevant articles of the UNCRPD, namely 9 “Accessibility”, 21 “Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information” and 13 “Access to justice” should be used to guide the measures to be taken in pursuing the aims of total accessibility as described above.
Section 3 ("Non-Discrimination in the exercise of legal capacity") states:
Bearing in mind the provisions of Action Line No. 12 “Legal protection” of the Council of Europe Disability Action Plan 2006-2015 and, as appropriate, Article 12 “Equal recognition before the law” of the UNCRPD, member states should ensure that their legislation overall does not discriminate against persons with disabilities in political and public life. They should make support available to persons who may need assistance in exercising their legal capacity in various aspects of life, in particular when exercising their right to vote, which is a universal right, in particular under the terms of Article 29 of the UNCRPD, as in other international legal instruments to which member states are parties. Member states should ensure that their legislation is devoid, at all levels, of provisions depriving persons with disabilities of the right to vote or stand for election.
All persons with disabilities, whether they have physical, sensory, or intellectual impairments, mental health problems or chronic illnesses, have the right to vote on the same basis as other citizens, and should not be deprived of this right by any law limiting their legal capacity, by any judicial or other decision or by any other measure based on their disability, cognitive functioning or perceived capacity. All persons with disabilities are also entitled to stand for office on an equal basis with others and should not be deprived of this right by any law restricting their legal capacity, by any judicial or other decision based on their disability, cognitive functioning or perceived capacity, or by any other means.
Member states should ensure that discrimination based on disability is prohibited in all fields of political and public life, namely wherever it is a question of voting, standing for election, exercising a mandate and/or being active in political parties or non-governmental organizations, or exercising public duties. These discriminatory acts include the failure to comply with the obligation to implement reasonable accommodations (see point 2 above, “Accessibility”) for persons with disabilities so that they can fully enjoy their political rights.