Voting is for Everyone

Updated: August 2018

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) produced this voter education video in 2018. It shows wordless and easy-to-read materials and provides information to empower voters with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and others to take part in the electoral process so they have a voice on issues such as public transportation. Voters also discuss holding elected officials accountable at the ballot box. A transcript of this video is below.


(Transcript begins)

Bus. mmm buses. Voting means to you, you can have a say about the buses? Yeah.

Yeah? Yeah. About how they're run or… and in the trains? Yeah. About how they're run, yeah? Yeah. Has that got to do with like getting onto the bus? Yeah. The times they run? Yeah. That's important to you too? Yeah. OK.  

Voting Is For Everyone

It's important for us to move around in the community. We like to go places like the movies or to do shopping. For us to have a good time out in the community. Wheelchair tires, I reckon they should be free. But they're not. They are very very dear. It’s a very steep ramp. When they push the wheelchairs, it hurts staff’s backs all the time. I was going to Sydney for my sister's wedding.

And my wheelchair was too big and so there was a problem with me getting on the plane.

They lie all the crates along the footpath, and boxes of fruit and vegetables. We can't afford to have staff all over the footpath. If we go off the footpath our chairs could tip over.

The next-door neighbor has a dog that barks all the time; in the middle of the night when I’m in bed. Annoying because I went over and told them nicely put it down, no not to put it down to tell him for the voice to be down.

I want Bayswater Station Fixed! Our Government has a role in our lives. They should be able to fix these things. The government had made regulations around safety around what could and  couldn't go in the cargo hold.

Now I'm going to go ring the Council and talk to the Council and see if he can do something about it.

We need to learn about the government, different department in the Government.

So in Australia we have three different levels of Government. You, Local Council.

What about rubbish collection? Local, that one.

If you have a problem, an issue, like problems with the dog barking, you just call the Local Council.

What about public transport? State.

The State Government, is they do water; if we have enough water and trains.

How fast can the bus drive? Do you have to go at the speed limit? Speed limit.
The Federal Government.

What about Australia Post? Federal. The Army, who’s responsible for the Army?
The Prime Minister is the boss of the Federal Government. They run money, and the pensioners, the Army.

Politicians, they say “Vote for us, we’ll give you more. Give you more physios or something. More hospitals, more doctors. 

We have to do voting, so everybody could hear us out in the community.

I haven’t been able to vote because I can't read or write. I didn't think I was able to do it.

We had a training session at Knox Scope. It changed my mind. Alex and you changed my mind, Rhonda.

Everyone should vote, no matter who they are!

We're here to organize for you guys to be able to go and vote on Election Day.

You have to apply on the Electoral Roll. Everyone should.

This is the application form, to enroll in order to vote. If you’re eligible, so then you’re allowed to vote; when you send this in, they’re going to put your name on the book, and then they’re going to expect you to vote. Your current residential address, so what’s your address? The next time you go to the Post Office, you can hand it in.

I think people with disabilities should vote because they receive services from the Government about how many staff we get to support us.

Is it important for people with disabilities to vote? Yeah. It's really important for people with disabilities to vote.

We don't want be treated like babies, we don't want to be treated like teenagers; we want to be

treated like civil adult people.

I don't see me in an actual wheelchair, but I treat myself as a normal person. I say “excuse me, I would like to vote, thank you.”

If you want to know what's going on, you have to vote.

How do you find out who to vote for?

From the newspapers. Yeah, that’s one way.

I listen to the news on TV.

Would you guys go to a candidate’s meeting? Yeah. Yeah that's good way to find out, while you’re there you can also ask them questions that are specific for you. Retirement programs Retirement programs? Maxi Taxis. Maxi Taxis? Lack of. A lack of maxi taxis? Yeah. Yeah well

there's some of the issues that would affect how you would vote obviously. You can listen to the TV, the ads, and they can say, “Oh vote for me, and I promise you I'll do this, this and that” and then it's up to you who you really want to vote.

You just go there, and you’re asked your name, and they cross it out, and then they give you papers, who you want to vote.

They give me a pen and I write on the boxes, “1,2,3 and 4.”

James. Signed, sealed.

It's important to vote the person you want. If we vote for them, they’ll do something about it.

Depends on who wins the election on the day.

Righto guys, well today's Election Day. I am feeling very excited. Is there certain areas you'd like to see change, or improve? I think the footpaths need to be all upgraded. Yeah? And why do you say that? Are they rough? Or? Yeah bit rough. For your chair? I think our taxi’s here guys, ready to rock and roll.

If you don't be voting you'll be fined.

You will get used to it.It will take your first time and then after it will be easier, voting.

What do you reckon, Dave? Good? Yeah! I don't feel scared about it, it’s just a straightforward job, just turn up to the polling booth, they give you the ballot papers for each Candidate. That’s it, and you go in and fill out the form, and put it inside the ballot box and that’s it.  Why bother doing it? What’s the point? To make the Government work much better. You interested in any of them Dave? What is your full name? Leigh Graham. And where do you live? Footscray. Ok, and have you voted before in this election? No. Okay, good. You put a number 1 next to the candidate of your first choice, and then continue numbering the boxes all the way through to 10. Anyone who’s on the roll in the State of Victoria can vote here today. I don’t think there’s anything to be nervous about,  I think it’s just one of those things that becomes routine,  once you’ve done it once you realize, “oh it’s not that difficult, I’ll be able to go next time and manage that. OK Leigh, would you like a hand?

Who should tell you how to vote? No one. It’s really up to you who you want to vote. I can give you had if you would like. But have a go first. OK, I’ll put it in for you. And that one, will go into here, OK? Good morning. Good morning. And what is your full name? Hi, my name is David Burman. And where do you live? I live at High Street Have you voted before in this election? No. Put a number 1 next to the Candidate of your first choice, and then continue numbering all the boxes. OK who would you like to give you a hand? Myself or an Election Official? Me? The Election Official?

On Election Day you can bring a caregiver or a family member or a friend to come and help you vote. And they can help you fill out the ballot paper. Or else you can ask an Electoral Official on the day, there’s people in the voting center wearing an information bib. And they can help you vote as well. So you need to choose which Candidate you want to put a 1 next to first. So, this candidate here, his name is John Smith. There are magnifying glasses which help you magnify the ballot paper. There’s large pencils if you have trouble holding an ordinary pencil. If you need to bring your own pencil that you use to write with then that’s fine as well. Congratulations, you’ve just voted, so thank you for voting.

I felt very much an adult and a normal person!
I’d like to vote, you know, everyone’s future depends on it so, I mean it’s your right to do so. We’re quite luck to have this right. It was quite easy. Was it? Yeah. What would you say to people who are feeling scared? Not to. Not scary? No. I am feeling very excited! I had trouble putting the papers in the box, but that’s about all. Don’t be scared. It won’t bite you!
By the end of the day, they mix it all up, and they find out who has the most votes. Your vote counts! Everyone’s vote counts!

So how are you feeling today Vanya? On top of the world. I’m feeling on top of the world. Everyone’s got to be heard, and if they don’ vote they won’t have a say. They’ll just have to put up and shut up. I just feel terrific because we can vote now. To show people that we can vote, to show people that we do care what happens in our community for disabled people.

It’s wonderful to be in Australia and its very important to vote!