People with disabilities aren’t being given the same chance to vote as able-bodied people, according to two Hunter Labor candidates.
Hunter Labor hopeful Dan Repacholi has lashed out at pre-poll arrangements at Toronto saying people who arrived at the Amateur sailing club yesterday to cast their early vote were confronted by a steep set of stairs and a worksite.
Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said at the King Street pre-poll location in Newcastle people couldn’t negotiate the stairs to get inside to cast their vote.
At both pre-poll locations people who couldn’t get inside had their ballot papers brought to them on the streets to fill out.
Dan Repacholi and Sharon Claydon say, given it’s 2022 and a federation election, why can’t people with disabilities be afforded the same opportunity to vote with privacy inside the early voting centre.
The Australian Electoral Commission responded on social media saying they have done their best.
In response to Sharon Claydon on Twitter, “in Newcastle, as you’ve pointed out the King St polling place doesn’t have additional accessibility options. In the area, accessible early voting centres are located in Charlestown and Maryland.
“Hi Sharon, thanks for getting in touch. We do our best to make early voting centres as accessible as possible but this isn’t always possible, particularly when lining up venues at short notice. Accessibility details for each polling place are listed on our website.”
Find your closest pre-polling location here: https://www.aec.gov.au/election/voting.htm#start