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One day left - Support more equitable access to democracy

One day left - Support more equitable access to the democratic process for Disabled People

There’s only one day left to support an important Bill that creates a fund to give disabled people better access to our democratic process. Submit in support of the Election Access Fund Bill now. Submissions close tomorrow.

We all want to live in a more inclusive, accessible and fair Aotearoa. Right now, there is a bill going through Parliament to create a fund which will give disabled people more equitable access to our political processes. The Access Alliance fully supports this bill, and we also think there are a few ways it could be improved. It’s really important that you let the Bill’s Select Committee know you support it too so that they understand that accessibility is a priority for lots of Kiwis. Take two minutes to show your support, and add any feedback you have on the Bill here.

The Election Access Fund Bill will create an Election Access Fund overseen by the Electoral Commission. Disabled candidates will be able to use it to cover disability-related costs of standing in a general election. Not-for-profit bodies can also use it to cover costs of making election education events and materials accessible. Finally, registered political parties can use it to support access needs of any members to allow them to participate within the party. Using the submission guide prepared by the Access Alliance, you can submit in support of the Bill in two minutes, or you can personalise your submission. When the Bill was introduced, it passed its first reading unanimously, showing that our politicians agree accessibility is bigger than party politics. But in order to get it over the line now, MPs need to see that lots of us stand behind equitable access to our political processes. Submit in support now.

In the guide prepared by the Access Alliance, we recommend a few additions to improve the Bill. We suggest that:

• The fund is opened out to be used in local elections and referendums, not just national elections;

• The Bill is explicit about the range of access barriers that the funding can be used to remove or lessen;

• An advisory group of disabled and Deaf people is set up to make decisions around what the funding can be used for and how it is allocated; and

• The total amount of funding available is set, as a percentage of the Electoral Commissions budget.

Whether you agree with these proposed changes or not, we can all agree that a law to ensure funding is available for disabled people to improve our access to the political process is an important step towards the truly accessible Aotearoa we want to live in. Please show your support now. You can tick the box to speak to your submission to have an even greater impact.

With hope,

Chrissie, Dianne, Áine and the whole Access Alliance team

The Access Alliance

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