New easy read guide helps people with learning disabilities to vote

Voting improvements

An easy read guide for voters with a learning disability has been launched by the Electoral Commission and Mencap, a charity which works with people with a learning disability. The guide has been designed to help those with a learning disability understand how to register and vote in the local elections on Thursday 2 May.

The Commission estimates that 1 in 4 people with a learning disability is not registered to vote. The easy read guide provides information about:

  • the local elections
  • how to register to vote
  • how to cast a vote with confidence at a polling station
  • how to apply for a postal and proxy vote

Harry and Charlotte who work for Mencap and have a learning disability, have also shared their own experiences of voting in a polling station.

Harry and Charlotte’s videos are being shared with local councils so they can be used in training sessions with polling station staff.

Harry Roche, a spokesperson for Mencap who has a learning disability, said:

People like me have as much right to vote as anyone else and it’s important our voices are heard on local issues, such as social care which many people with a learning disability rely on.

Our jargon free guide with images helps people understand about voting, the process and how to cast their vote on 2nd May.

I was happy to take part in the videos which provide tips for polling station staff so that they can better support people with a learning disability.

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission said:

Everyone should be able to participate in elections and cast their vote with confidence. No one with a learning disability should face barriers when registering to vote or casting their vote.

Our joint guide with Mencap provides important information about how to take part in the local elections. With almost 250 councils in England holding elections in May, it’s vital that anyone who’s not already registered to vote does so before the 12 April deadline.

Anyone who is not yet registered to vote should apply online at before the 12 April deadline.


Download the easy read guide and view Charlotte and Harry’s videos on the Electoral Commission’s YouTube Channel.

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office:

Extra notes

Notes to Editors

  • The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency

The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK and Scottish Parliaments.