High Court ruling clears way for blind people to cast secret ballot in elections

High Court ruling clears way for blind people to cast secret ballot in elections

The High Court today found in favour of a blind man, Robbie Sinnott, who was seeking to vindicate his right to vote by secret ballot.

To date, people with sight loss in Ireland have had to get help from a "trusted friend"' or the presiding officer when casting their ballot.

However, this meant they could not cast a secret ballot and were unable to prove whether the person assisting them marked the ballot paper in the way they requested.

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland has welcomed the High Court's decision.

"It's really important," said CEO of the NCBI, Chris White.

"We've had voting in the State since its foundation, so it's in the 20s, and for that whole length of time we've had no access to equal rights for people for sight loss to vote.

"We rely on the 'trusted friend method' in Ireland, where other European countries have technology which allows people to vote in private and fully participate in the democracy which people value so much."

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