Simulation of an accessible election

Updated: January 2016

Produced by the General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA), this video describes how elections in Indonesia should be conducted to be fully inclusive of all citizens, including those with a disability. This simulation is based on information from a manual produced for poll workers by an Indonesian election managment body (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, or KPU).




Narrator: Elections are an important moment in democracy. This is the time when citizens can express their political rights. In Indonesia, elections are regulated by state law and EMB regulations. This is a simulation of accessible elections for persons with disabilities. 

(scene changes to an outdoors polling station)

Narrator: Polling stations have to display information on how many voters are registered in the area and display it in the entrance to the polling station. Information also includes the types of voters' disabilities. Voting begins with an inauguration ceremony for seven poll workers who are bound under oath to work fairly and justly. Polling stations are also attended by officers from election monitoring bodies. Poll workers explain the tools that are available for the visually impaired such as a braille template, and also a form for an assistant, should it be needed by voters with disabilities.    

(Voter using a wheelchair enters polling station)

Narrator: Arriving at the polling station, a voter must first register their identity at the registration desk. Here we see an example of an accessible polling station for mobility impaired persons. As stated by the KPU Election Manual, Article 22, Paragraph (1), polling stations have to be located in accessible locations on flat, smooth surfaces, and not cross over ditches and not go through stairs. Therefore, for wheelchair users, it is important to have smooth surfaces and spacious room for them to move. The voting booth must be stationed at a place that enables wheelchair users to comfortably slide their wheelchair underneath. The voting box also must be easily reached. After casting their votes, wheelchair users must be able to exit the polling station without difficulty. Similar accessibility also applies for persons that depend on crutches. If the polling station is inside a room, attention must be paid to make sure the entrance and exit are accessible.

(Voter who is blind and is using a cane enters the polling station)

Narrator: Visually impaired persons must be given assistance from registration onwards. Assistance can be provided from poll workers or a person of their own choosing. The chosen assistant must fill in the assistance form and declare that they are bound to secrecy with the voter. The poll workers must provide a braille template to help voters with visual disabilities. An assistant can provide help so the voter with disabilities can cast a vote. It is now being advocated in Indonesia for the template to have a special marking to help determine the correct side. That way, the visually disabled can insert the ballot into the template and cast their vote independently.     

(Voter with an intellectual disability enters the polling station)

Narrator: The main challenge for persons with intellectual disabilities is to understand the correct procedures and instructions. Therefore, polling workers are advised to explain clearly and slowly to ensure voter understanding. Persons with intellectual disabilities can cast their votes with the help of an assistant. But, if they are able to understand the instructions, they can also vote without any help. 

(Voter who is deaf enters the polling station)

Narrator: People with hearing impairments are specially challenged when it is time for them to come to the voting booth. Therefore, it is important that they inform poll workers of their disability. This information will help the poll workers to provide a way to help them. In this example, we see a poll worker displaying a written sign to call up the voter and tapping their shoulders to inform voters of their turn. Participation in elections is a very important expression of human rights. This simulation aims to create awareness about the needs of persons with disabilities for an accessible election so they can fully exercise their political rights.     


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