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Blind and sight-impaired voters get prepared

From the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind
For immediate release

Blind and sight-impaired voters get prepared for the General Election

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) is keen to let all its members know their voting rights when they visit the election polling booths next weekend.

Jane Holden, RNZFB Chief Executive says, “Being blind and sight-impaired can make voting a bit of a challenge, but there is no reason for people to feel daunted.”

“It is important blind and sight-impaired New Zealanders know their needs are catered for under Section 170 of the Electoral Act 1993.”

Ms Holden says this section clearly states that blind and sight-impaired voters may nominate a person to accompany them into a polling booth and the ballot paper can then be marked with the assistance of the person nominated.

Or the person nominated by the voter may mark the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions of the voter.

Once the ballot paper is marked, the voter may then nominate another person to inspect the ballot paper before it is deposited in the ballot box.

“With this legal procedure in place, blind and sight-impaired New Zealanders should feel comfortable about making their votes - and making their choices count in this election,” says Ms Holden.

- ends -

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