Within polling stations, what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
Since 1999 it is mandatory for elections at federal level (European parliament, Austrian parliament, president) that all polling stations provide templates for ballot papers, so there is no need for the blind and partially sighted to register in advance.
The cardboard template is folded in the middle and the A4 sized ballot paper is put in between so that the ballot paper's size is congruent with the template front size. The template's front side's upper right corner is cut off in a 45 degree angle to make sure the voter can check on the correct positioning of the ballot paper. The template's punched-out holes are located directly over the circles used for marking the ballot paper with a cross.
The templates are to be destroyed after the ballot is casted. For the 2010 presidential election 46,800 pieces were produced nationwide.
Furthermore, blind and partially sighted voters may choose a person for assistance in the polling both.
"§ 66. (1) Voting has to be done in person; the elections authorities have to supply ballot paper templates in order to make it possible for the voters who are blind or hard of hearing to cast their vote autonomously. Physically or mentally disabled voters or those with visual or auditory difficulties can be assisted in the casting of their vote by a selected third party and confirmed by them to the returning officer. Except in the cases described above only one person should enter the polling booth at any one time." (Source: Federal Law Gazette No. 471/1992 as amended by Federal Law Gazette I No. 43/2011)