DISABILITY AND VOTING IN WALES

By: Daniella Jade Lowe


Welsh Parliament
There are 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs) of the Welsh Parliament.
To vote in the Welsh Parliament elections you must:

• be registered to vote
• be 16 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
• live in Wales
• not be legally excluded from voting


MSs are elected using the Additional Member system. You vote once for your constituency MS and once for an MS to represent the wider region.


Wales is in the west of Great Britain and is part of the UK. It has a population of 3 million. The capital city of Wales is Cardiff. People in Wales speak English and many people also speak Welsh which is quite different and older than English. Street signs in Wales are written in both languages. Wales has been politically linked with England since 1542. Wales was an independent country until it was defeated by the English army. Wales has some independence in making its own laws, but it is still very much part of the UK political system.

Inaccessibility and stereotyping are barriers for people with disabilities in politics. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42167892


An estimated 20% of the population are disabled, but only 1.5% of councillors are known to have a disability.


About 600,000 people in Wales have a disability, but very few councils hold data on how many councillors are disabled.


BBC research showed of the 1,254 councillors elected in May, just 19 are known by local authorities to be living with an impairment or long-term health condition.


According to disabled politicians,’You have to be quite strong’: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-42826002.

The Legacy International Group alongside The Purple Vote Campaign hope to change this within the Welsh Assembly during the May 2021 elections.

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