Open and accessible democracy

Parliament has unanimously supported Chlöe Swarbrick’s Election Access Fund Bill, which removes barriers to participation for people with disabilities.

Currently disabled people face major challenges in accessing and participating in elections and standing for political office.

The Bill establishes a contestable fund that will be administered by the Electoral Commission. The Fund may be used by any disabled candidate to cover disability-related costs of standing in a general election. These costs could include, for example: NZSL interpreter support for candidate forums, notetaker or transcribing costs, costs of translating material into braille, or travel costs to attend candidate forums.

The Fund may also be used by any not-for-profit body running an election education event or producing an election publication to cover costs of making election education events and materials accessible. The Fund can also be used by any registered political party to support the access needs of any of their members to allow them to participate internally within the party.

The Bill will be proceeding through the various Parliamentary stages over the rest of this year and should be established in time for the 2020 Election campaign.

Election Access Fund Bill - How we got here [EASY READ]