Years of advocacy work by our Danish member LEV and other organisations have been successful: The Danish government wants to change the law so that more people under guardianship are given the right to vote. Most people under guardianship in Denmark already enjoy voting rights, but people under a specific type of guardianship (“Section 6” guardianship) so far have been excluded from it.
According to the Danish constitution, people deprived of their legal capacity do not have the right to vote in parliamentary elections and referendums. Today, this concerns about 1900 people in the country. After the change in law, legal capacity will not be completely taken away anymore even from people under “Section 6” guardianship.
In 2016, a law had been introduced that made it possible for people under guardianship to vote in elections to the European Parliament, as well as for municipalities and regional councils.
Voting rights in Europe: A long way to go
Inclusion Europe wishes to congratulate its Danish member LEV for their successful advocacy work on the matter. The law certainly is a step into the right direction, also considering that changing the constitution itself can be a long and cumbersome process.
Unfortunately, in many European countries, people with intellectual disabilities under guardianship are systematically prevented from voting. Even if they get voting rights, a lack of easy-to-read information about the electoral process, candidates and party programmes, as well as other adaptations such as support staff make it very difficult for them to actually exercise their right. There is still a long way to go!
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“In Denmark more people under guardianship
will vote for the elections of the Parliament”
There are good news from Denmark!
Many people under guardianship in Denmark
have already the right to vote.
But some of them who are under
a special kind of guardianship
still cannot vote.
In 2016 a new law was created.
It said that people under guardianship
can vote in European and local elections.
But they still cannot vote
in national elections.
Now there will be another new law.
When the law will be in use,
people under this special kind of guardianship
will have their legal capacity back.
And they will be able to vote in national elections
and also take part in referendums.
LEV is a member of Inclusion Europe
Together with other organisations,
LEV has worked hard
so people with intellectual disabilities
can vote in Denmark.
At last their work got
some good results.
Inclusion Europe is very happy
that LEV has reached this goal.
This law is an important step
in the right direction.
But there are still many European countries
where people with intellectual disabilities under guardianship
Also, in many countries
voting is not accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.
For example, information about how to vote
and who is standing for the elections
is not in easy-to-read.
Or there are not support people at the voting places
who can help you with voting.
All these things stop people from voting,
even if they have the right to do it.
There are still many things to do!
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
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