Electors with a Disability

Voting options for people with disability

Please note this page will be updated with relevant video links and forms as we progress closer to the 2021 State general election.

At the 2021 State general election the following voting options will be available:

Technology Assisted Voting

The Commission is providing two forms of Technology Assisted Voting - Vote Assist and Telephone Assisted Voting (TAV) to eligible electors to cast a secret and unassisted vote. An eligible elector is defined as an elector who cannot vote without assistance because the elector has insufficient literacy skills or is sight impaired or otherwise incapacitated.

Telephone Assisted Voting
Telephone Assisted Voting (TAV) allows eligible electors to vote over the telephone (via a two stage process)  by having the voting instructions and ballot paper information read to them and Commission staff recording their vote preferences, whilst ensuring elector anonymity.  

Vote Assist
Vote Assist allows electors who visit selected Vote Assist Polling Places to listen to pre-recorded voting instructions and ballot paper information, select their preferences using a special keypad and then have their completed ballot papers self-printed (face down and in private) prior to ballot box lodgement. Locations where Vote Assist will be available will be posted on the Commission’s website.

As a form of Early Voting, TAV (both Application and Vote Casting) opens at  9am Wednesday 24 February  2021.  TAV will be offered throughout the Early Voting in person period,  up to and including election day, Saturday 13 March 2021.  Application for TAV will close at 4pm election day, with Vote Casting for TAV closing 6pm election day.  TAV daily operating hours throughout the Early Voting period will be posted on the Commission's website.

Other voting options

Accessible polling places
Audio loops
Assistance at polling places
Mobile polling
Registering as a general early voter
Information for carers

It is the right of every elector to cast their vote in an environment which provides for a secret and independent ballot. However, you may seek assistance at any time. If you do not understand the process, are unable to or have difficulty writing on your ballot paper or need any other assistance you may ask a polling official, carer, friend or relative.

For more information on what assistance is available, you can also read the Enhancing Access brochure (PDF 195KB).

Accessible polling places

Before an election, all potential polling places are assessed to determine if they are accessible for people with mobility issues or who are in a wheelchair. As polling places are located in existing public buildings and locations, such accessibility cannot always be guaranteed.

The Commission aims to have as many accessible polling places as possible, and will even use temporary ramps to maximise the number of accessible polling places available for electors. Polling places also have reserved parking bays as close to the polling place location as possible for electors with limited mobility.

Accessible polling places are identified in advertising.

Audio Loops

Hearing and listening aids can be ineffective in environments with a lot of talking or background noise, such as a polling place. Audio loops are used to overcome this issue by enhancing the sound of a person’s voice, such as a polling official. Audio loops were first trialled at the 2013 State election at selected polling places for use by electors using a hearing or listening aid.

Polling places with audio loops are advertised with the symbol of access for hearing loss. Electors with a hearing or listening aid can switch to ‘T’ to use the system.

Assistive Devices at Polling Places

A range of assistance and assistive devices are available at polling places for electors. Polling place staff are aware of all assistive devices available, and can offer assistance to any elector.

Better Hearing Cards
All polling places are supplied with Better Hearing Counter Cards. These cards are placed at issuing points.

Magnifying Sheets
All polling places have hand-held magnifying sheets, which are available upon request. Magnifying sheets enlarge the text on the ballot papers.

Desktop Voting Screens
Desktop voting screens are available at every polling place. These voting screens are at a height that can be used by a person using a wheelchair. The desktop voting screens also enable electors to vote sitting down if required.

Triangular Pencils
Easy-grip triangular pencils are available for electors who have difficulty holding or writing with standard pencils.

Information Officers
The Information Officer or Queue Controller is available at most polling places to provide information and to offer assistance to electors. This person is often visible by them wearing a shirt with an ‘i’ on the front.

Mobile Polling

During the State election, the Commission visits hospitals and selected institutions such as nursing homes, aged care facilities and retirement homes to provide electors the opportunity to vote without having to leave the premises.

Mobile polling is only available for residents and patients. Staff and visitors can vote early at an early voting centre or at a polling place on polling day.

The date and time that mobile polling will take place is advertised at the venue in advance of polling.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and depending on the situation in WA at the time of the election, it is possible that mobile polling at such facilities may not be available, in which case alternative arrangements may be necessary.

Registration as a general early voter

Electors with disability or who are frail may apply for registration as a general early voter ( external site PDF 1.5 MB). This means that ballot papers are automatically sent to electors after the election has been announced and ballot papers have been printed.

Information for Carers

The Commission is committed to ensuring that carers are provided with every opportunity to vote at election time and also that they are provided with information to ensure those that they are caring for can participate in the electoral process if they are able to do so.

Assisting with Voting

Carers, relatives, friends and polling place staff at voting locations are able to accompany and assist voters to complete their ballot papers. Carers or electors with disability should not hesitate to ask for assistance if required.

If an elector is unable to enter a polling place due to disability or limited mobility, upon request, a polling official can take the ballot papers to the elector (close to the polling place) for them to complete. The polling official, or another person, can also provide the elector with assistance to complete the ballot papers if required.