United Response believes that everyone should have the opportunity to take up their legal right to vote. Many people with learning disabilities are not using that right.

Since 2010, United Response has been campaigning to make politics easier to understand for the 1.5 million people with learning disabilities across the UK. Our Every Vote Counts campaign works to equip people with learning disabilities and their supporters with accessible information on the democratic process, in order for people to be able to make an informed choice at the polls.

People with learning disabilities have the same right to vote as everyone else, yet are hugely under-represented at the ballot box. It is vital that people with disabilities and mental health needs are made aware of their rights and how to overcome barriers to voting that often affect them more significantly than others in society.

Are you registered to vote in the June General Election?

The Government recently announced that a snap General Election will be taking place on 8th June. This is an opportunity for everyone to have their say about who runs the country and makes the policy decisions that affect all of our lives.

We think everyone should have the right to use their vote and express their views at this crucial election. However, with the election taking place so soon, there is not much time.

To help, we have updated our accessible Every Vote Counts website with new information about how to register to vote, and what happens at a general election. There is also information on issues such as proxy voting and supporting people in an unbiased way.

Every Vote Counts is aimed specifically at making the process easier to understand for people with learning disabilities and those that support them, but is also a useful resource for anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of how politics works and the impact it has on our everyday lives.

You can start your preparation for the election now by checking that you and the people you know are registered to vote. The deadline for registering is 22md May. You can find out more about registering on our Every Vote Counts site.

Find out how to register to vote

Over the next few weeks we will also be sending out regular updates on our Every Vote Counts campaign via our Every Vote Counts e-newsletter. Sign up below to receive these.

Sign up to the Every Vote Counts e-newsletter

Accessible information about voting and politics

Key components of the Every Vote Counts campaign are our free, unbiased, and easy-to-understand website and resources, which aim to make politics and voting more accessible.

Using an easy read format, our booklets and website provide simple words and helpful images to explain how politics affects the daily lives of disabled people. These easy read resources explain the political system and how to vote, as well as a website, which includes detailed information for carers and politicians.

Go to the Every Vote Counts website

Take a look at our Every Vote Counts resources

How Every Vote Counts made a difference in 2015

At the last UK General Election, Every Vote Counts lobbied politicians and advocated on behalf of people we support. The campaign raised awareness of the fact that people with learning disabilities are entitled to vote, irrespective of their mental capacity, and alerted people to potentially discriminatory changes to voting registration that could negatively impact people with disabilities.

United Response has worked to empower people to learn more about politics and find out more about what each main political party thinks. That is why we published an easy read manifesto round-up, an 18-page summary of the main election pledges made by the 7 main parties, as well as a recent summary of the key points of the Government’s 2015 Budget.

Survey results

After the General Election, we distributed a survey among people we support at the 341 services we run across the country, asking for details on how many people voted and whether the Every Vote Counts campaign assisted people in learning more about the democratic process.

Results show that 43% of people with learning disabilities surveyed voted at the General Election in May – a 10% increase on the numbers that voted in 2010.

71% of the survey respondents found the easy read booklets helpful with a further 33% visiting the dedicated website.

The survey also revealed the extent to which the campaign has reached out to new voters, with some 31% stating that they had voted for the first time, with only 14% stating that this was due to age.

Remember!

To make sure that you or somebody you support is registered to vote, visit the Every Vote Counts website.