Every vote counts – The European Referendum – 23 June 2016Tuesday 21 June, 2016
Interactive EU referendum sessions helps to empower the people we support to have their say
Despite the referendum about whether to remain or leave the European Union being very soon, the polls continue to show that many people are ‘undecided’ about which way they will vote. It’s not too late to share information, especially about how the voting will work.
The ballot paper is particularly challenging for people with learning disabilities as there are only words, whereas in elections where there are party candidates the party logo is added too. At Real Life Options we have had several sessions for people we support and their support workers about the EU referendum.
Led by Anthea Sully, Head of Public Policy, the informative sessions provided the opportunity for people to ask questions and explained about how to deal with the main points and the practicalities of voting outlined in the general resources.
An important point that we learned was that we need to talk about remain or leave , which will be the key words on the ballot paper, not yes or no, stay or go, or in and out! Everyone also had the opportunity to practice voting in a mock EU referendum so they could better understand the steps involved when they visit their local polling station.
Some of our interesting questions – and the answers we came up with:
- Question: If we vote to leave will Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister?
- Answer: At the General Election in 2015 we elected a conservative government for 5 years. If David Cameron stops being Prime Minister he will be replaced by another Conservative politician.
- Question: Can someone come with me to make sure I put my cross in the right box?
- Answer: Yes, your support worker can do this as long as they are entitled to vote in this election – it’s important to explain to the election workers when you arrive at the polling station that you would like this support. You can also ask the election workers to help you. Whichever you choose they will need to be sure that you are making your own decision. Support workers may help up to two people.
- Question: Will we still have the queen?
- Answer: Yes, we will still have the queen if we vote to remain or vote to leave.
- Question: If I can’t find my polling card can I still vote?
- Answer: As long as you are registered you can vote and don’t need to take your polling card. You need to go to your polling station and tell them your name and your address.