Polling place accessibility and the NSW state election

I get the impression that the NSW election sees a slight improvement over the Federal election in polling place accessibility information.

Here’s some sample information provided from my electorate:

A— Public School: “Fully Wheelchair Accessible”
B— Public School: “Assisted Access: Building has lips and/or steps, No designated disabled parking spot, No disabled toilet, Path of travel from car park may be difficult”
C— Public School: “Assisted Access: No designated disabled parking spot, No disabled toilet”

You can find out this for any electorate by going to Polling Places and finding the electorate. Note that information comes up in a pop-up page, and it is embedded in a Google Map by default, unless you select the link that reads “Text” next to the name of the electorate.

In addition to wheelchair information the main accessibility page has some information for provisions for vision impaired people:

Luminance contrast design on election furniture

Certain cardboard furniture, such as the ballot box, used at State and Local Government elections have luminous contrast markings to assist electors with depth perception.

Hand held magnifiers and user friendly pencils

All polling places and pre-poll voting centres have hand held magnifiers and maxi pencils and voting instructions in large print, available to assist electors who may have difficulty reading the ballot paper or marking the squares. If you require either of these items, please ask an election offical [sic].

Information off the top of my head that isn’t provided:

  • information about provision of seats in waiting/queuing areas
  • information about distances from parking or entrances to the voting area
  • information about non-wheelchair mobility aids

In my state electorate, I count 26 polling places (including Sydney Town Hall, which is located away from my electorate and is a polling place for every electorate in the state). Of these 7 are listed as fully wheelchair accessible (including Town Hall), and another 10 as assisted access. My nearest polling place is 200m away, assisted access 500m away and fully wheelchair accessible about 1km away, although as I live very close to the local business district we have a high density of nearby polling places.

How does your electorate look? How many fully wheelchair accessible polling places, how many assisted access, and how close are they to you? What information is missing from the descriptions?

For more on polling accessibility check:

Categories: Politics

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. Highschool – Assisted access, no designated parking spot, no disabled toilet (at a school, really bad) path of travel from carpark may be difficult.
    Memorial Hall – building has steps and or lips. Doesn’t mention that there is only one disabled spot near the building and that has a gutter to negotiate. Other spots are around the corner but easier to get onto the footpath from. Doesn’t mention that disabled toilet is around the back of the hall and may not have access from within the hall, i.e. so you don’t have to go back out the front, down the side and around to the back to access the toilet. It is all flat ground, but if you can’t walk a great distance it is a reasonable way. Doesn’t mention that there is no seating, although from memory people have requested and been able to be seated in the past. There is usually a booth designed for use by people using wheelchairs. Doesn’t mention that hall way people are funnelled down after voting, so as not to get mixed up with people coming in, is narrow and can be difficult to negotiate.

  2. My closest polling place (approx 500m) is really poor for disabled access – no designated parking, queuing is on the street outside (there is a brick wall for seating at a pinch), steep steps down to the hall from the street.
    The electorate as a whole has eight “Fully Wheelchair Accessible” locations and seven “Assisted Access” locations – the closest “Fully” accessible location is about 800m away in the opposite direction.

  3. My closest polling place (~700m) also not good for accessibility. I didn’t see any designated parking; entry and exit were up stairs, the queue was inside when not too long, but any more than about 10 people and it was outside and down the stairs. There were a couple of chairs in the short hallway where the queue was, but the low soft type (with no arms) which would be difficult to sit down into or get up out of.

  4. [Comment content deleted as off-topic – it didn’t address accessibility issues at all. Please find a NSW election thread where your comment will be on-topic. ~ Moderator]

  5. I voted at the close, non-wheelchair accessible polling place. It has a flight of about five stairs at the entrance, in addition to fairly bad parking and bad kerb cut provisions.

    There were also bad seating provisions: no seats for waiting or for the interaction with the staff. However, there was no queue at the time, and there was a wide seated spot to vote among the usual standing stations.

  6. [comment content yet again deleted for having nothing to do with polling place accessibility – find a thread where your comment IS on topic and leave it there ~ moderator]

  7. The View From Down Here iVoted! Review and accessibility comments at As the dust settles.

  8. I voted at my little brother’s primary school. There was a queue of about two and a half lengths of the voting hall at max, anyone in it would at best have been able to sit down for the thirty seconds it took their place to pass some picnic tables, and half of it was in the open, so when it started raining while I was waiting there was a lot of improvised line-moving that ended up putting people in the narrow space between said picnic tables and the wall. This meant we had to shuffle a bit and get a guy in a wheelchair to cut ahead of that whole loop in the line because there was no way he would’ve fit through there. Nobody was too inconvenienced, though, obviously I wouldn’t know if anyone in the line was suffering from standing up for that long but at least the wheelchair was able to get in at all. It would have been fine if the queue was shorter.
    I don’t know anything about the other polling places in my electorate, I’ve only ever voted in one other one and I seem to recall that was much worse for wheelchairs in terms of narrow spaces, but I wasn’t paying attention to anything else.

%d bloggers like this: