The Ministry of State and the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region would like to thank the citizens and municipalities for their participation in the survey on the accessibility of elections, which was carried out through the platform "Zesumme Vereinfachen". Thanks are also due to the disability associations for their proposals of measures to make voting more accessible to people with disabilities, that they submitted to the Ministry of State as part of the implementation of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2019-2024.
The results of the survey and the feasibility of implementing the proposed measures were analysed by the relevant ministries in cooperation with the actors involved in their execution. The selected measures can be divided into the following categories:
- Right to vote and stand for election for adults under guardianship
- Layout of the ballot paper
- Accessibility of the polling station
- Information and awareness campaigns
1. Right to vote and stand for election for adults under guardianship
Following the revision of the Constitution, which abrogates the automatic exclusion of adults under guardianship from the right to vote and stand for election, and which will come into force on 1 July 2023, a government bill amending the amended Electoral Law of 18 February 2003 (doc. parl. 8150) was filed on 9 February 2023 in order to adapt the ensuing legislative adjustments to the new constitutional text. The bill therefore proposes to guarantee adults under guardianship the possibility of exercising their right to vote and to stand for election as of right in all cases.
However, as voting is compulsory in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, in order to avoid the benefit thus created for adults under guardianship turning to their disadvantage in cases where the most vulnerable persons in question would not have the faculties necessary to appreciate that their participation in the vote is compulsory, or even to express their right via postal voting or to be able to the polling day, it is proposed that adults under guardianship be added to the list of persons excused from voting.
It is assumed that these legislative changes will apply for the first time for the Parliamentary elections.
2. Layout of the ballot paper
a) The above-mentioned Government Bill 8150 proposes that the logos of political parties (where available) should be reproduced on the ballot papers for the parliamentary and European elections in order to make the ballot paper more readable and easier to fill in for people with sensory or cognitive disabilities.
b) Adjustments will be made to the appearance of the ballot paper (e.g. adapted font, added contrast, etc.) to make the ballot paper accessible to visually impaired voters.
3. Accessibility of the polling station
a) The above-mentioned Government Bill 8150 proposes that adults under guardianship as well as cognitively impaired voters will be included in the category of persons eligible to be accompanied to the voting booth on election day. Once passed, this legislative change will apply for the first time in the October 2023 parliamentary election.
b) Transport to and from the polling station on election day will not be counted against the annual travel quota for "Adapto" users. This measure will most likely be applied for the first time for the October 2023 parliamentary election.
4. Information and awareness campaigns
a) Measures are being analysed to make television broadcasts and election spots for the parliamentary and European elections (e.g. round tables and political debates) accessible for people with hearing impairments (e.g. by adding subtitles).
b) In order to raise the awareness of the municipalities about the accessibility of the elections, a circular containing a package of information and recommendations will be sent to them prior to each election. This package contains:
- The brochure "Accessibility of polling stations" published by Info-Handicap;
- A document with information about the application procedure and the use of tactile voting templates distributed by the Centre for the Development of Visual Skills and available at the polling stations;
- The booklet "Check Politik" explaining the political and social issues of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in easy-to-read language prepared by the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung.
c) The polling card and the instructions to voters will be published in "easy-to-read-language" by the "KLARO" Official Center for Easy Read of the APEMH.
d) Videos illustrating how to fill in the ballot paper will be produced by the Zentrum fir politesch Bildung in collaboration with KLARO and the Ministry for the Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region and will be available on various websites.
e) All information about the projects initiated by disability organisations in the context of the elections will be published in an accessible form on the official election website www.elections.public.lu
f) A whole range of information relating to the elections published on the Guichet.lu website is available in "Easy Language".
g) The Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region has launched the I can vote awareness campaign to encourage non-Luxembourg residents to register to vote in the municipal elections of 11 June 2023. As part of the campaign, a multilingual and multimedia communication has been set up to inform these residents of their right to vote.
All these measures, together with those already in place, constitute a stable framework to ensure that every citizen can fully enjoy his political rights on the basis of equality and freely express his will without discrimination, and thus mark an important step in the implementation of the government's ongoing commitment to build a more just, open and inclusive society.
Press release by the Ministry of State and the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region