In the upcoming European Parliament and Local Elections, Ballot Paper Templates and a ‘Freephone’ Service will be available to vision impaired voters for the first time.
Returning Officers in all Local Authorities have arranged for the provision of a Freephone number outlining candidate details in each individual Electoral Area, for voters with vision impairment.
The Freephone number for Galway City Council Local Elections is 1800 306 894
Vision impaired voters can use the Freephone facility as often as they wish in the run-up to polling day to familiarise themselves with the arrangements and to firm up their voting intentions. Those with mobile phones will also be allowed to access the Freephone information on polling day in the polling centres if they so choose.
Individuals can press ‘1’ to hear the information in English and can press ‘2’ to hear the information in Irish. Listeners can then dial ‘1’ for Galway City East; dial ‘2’ for Galway City Central and ‘3’ for Galway City West. Once the Local Electoral Area is selected the listener will be provided with a message outlining the details of each candidate, until the list of candidates have been exhausted.
Vision impaired voters will also continue to have the option of marking their ballot papers with the assistance of a companion or Presiding Officer, as provided for in the Electoral Acts, at all elections and referendums.