Poland - Article 29

1.THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND BE ELECTED.

  1. Do visually impaired (hereafter VI) people suffer any restrictions to their rights to vote and/or to be elected? If yes, give details.

    There are no restrictions as regards suffrage or the right to be elected.

  2. During election campaigns what measures are taken to ensure that VI people are ensured full autonomy concerning the availability of information distributed by candidates, access to pre-electoral meetings, access to different campaign media?
    Election campaigns, election materials, participation in pre-electoral meetings, etc. are not regulated by law.
  3. Are special measures put in place to ensure that polling stations are accessible to VI people?
    An electoral commission working in a voting place is obliged to provide verbally any information concerning organization of the election upon request of an interested individual with the visual impairment.
  4. Within polling stations, what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?
    1. Upon early request, a visually impairment person may receive a tactile Braille template along with the voting ballot to ensure confidential voting
    2. A blind person may obtain assistance from a trusted person only in the technical nature that is crossing the chosen preference. He/she cannot obtain assistance neither from a member of an electoral commission nor from a returning officer.
    3. Voting by a plenipotentiary (such power shall be authorized on request addressed to commune's President, mayor or a borough leader.)
    4. Person with disabilities may also take part in the election through a postal voting. Notification on that form of voting shall be submitted within the specified period before the elections (a voting ballot is sent home to a person with disabilities. A blind person may also receive a tactile Braille template to ensure confidential voting.

  5. In the case of proportional elections (by lists of candidates), what measures are taken to ensure that VI people can exercise their rights in an autonomous and confidential manner?

    Does not apply.

  6. Are their measures in place to assist VI people in the polling booths and when casting their vote in the urns?
    Tactile Braille templates, a possibility to get assistance from a trusted person. There are no other facilities.
  7. Are voting machines in place in your country? If yes, please detail how these are made accessible to VI people.
    No

2. PARTICIPATION IN NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS CONCERNED WITH THE PUBLIC AND POLITICAL LIFE OF THE COUNTRY, AND IN THE ACTIVITIES AND ADMINISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES.

  1. Can VI people in your country participate in an unrestricted manner in political parties, unions, public and political organisations and associations?
    There are no legal constraints.
  2. Are their VI people in who have been elected to political, trade-union or associative office in your country?
    Yes
  3. Do VI people in your country have unrestricted access to administrative office, including at top-level?
    There are no legal constraints. In fact mental barriers make getting a position on the high administrative level difficult.

3. FORMING AND JOINING ORGANISATIONS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

  1. Please give an overview of the number/type of associations or organisations representing VI people in your country.
    Polish Association of the Blind is the largest organization facilitating needs of the visually impaired in the whole territory of the Polish republic. Other minor foundations and associations operate on the local level.
  2. What is the role played by these associations in representing VI people?
    Polish Association of the Blind advocates rights of the visually impaired to state authorities, monitors changes in legal regulations, calls for amending harmful or discriminatory legal regulations, actively participates in the legislative process through active role in advisory committees, expert meetings, parliamentary commissions, etc.
  3. How are VI people included in associations representing them?
    They are organisation members, participate in organisations' authorities and are active players in the organisations they belong to.