mental capacity to make a decision to vote — Scope | Disability forum
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mental capacity to make a decision to vote

simona Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited October 2021 in Autism and neurodiversity

i know a person with severe learning disability and their carer told me the person is registered to vote but did not express who to vote and that is why they did not go to election. I was wondering if their mental capacity should have been accessed as I wonder that it was rather carer's decision not to go than person's decision. can you let me know what you think, please?


  • MikeBroderick
    MikeBroderick Member Posts: 234 Pioneering
    Hi @simona:

    Is there a specific reason that makes you think this might be the case? 
  • Dasiydo
    Dasiydo Member Posts: 93 Courageous
    Are you saying some people can't go vote station because haven't got lift to vote?
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger

    What about people with severe impairments?

    Everyone is entitled to register to vote. Para 3.82 of the Electoral Commission's guidance  to electoral registration officers makes clear:

    "A lack of mental capacity is not a legal incapacity to vote: persons who meet the other registration qualifications are eligible for registration regardless of their mental capacity." 

    Section 73 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 abolished any 'common law' restrictions that a person was unable to register to vote if they lacked legal capacity.   

    Electoral Registration Officers are expected to assist people who may have any difficulties with the registration process because of physical or mental disabilities. However, the person must choose for themselves who to vote for. No-one else can decide on their behalf.

    The Electoral Commission website has guidance to Electoral Registration Officers on assistance with the registration process.

    The Electoral Commission has also issued guidance to care homes on supporting residents.


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