Voting is for everyone
In partnership with SCOPE, this empowering film challenges the myths around voting and disability.
It explains the role of government in Australia, and shows how to get help if needed. It is aimed at people with disability, carers and workers.
Voting means to you, you can have a say about the buses?
About how they're run or...
...and the trains?
About how they're run?
Has that got to do with like, getting onto the bus?
The times they run?
That's important to you too?
It's important for us to move around in the community. We like to go places
like the movies, or to do shopping. For us to have a good time out in the community.
Wheelchair tyres. I reckon they should be free. But, they're not. They're very, very dear.
It's a very steep ramp. When they push the wheelchairs, it hurts staff's backs all the time.
I was going to Sydney for my sister's wedding, and my wheelchair was too big, and so there was a problem with me getting on the plane.
They lie all the crates along the footpath, and boxes of fruit and veges. We can't afford to have stuff all over the footpath.
If we go off the footpath our chairs could tip over.
The next door neighbour has a dog that barks all the time; in the middle of the night when I'm in bed.
Annoying, because I went over and told them nicely to... put it down, no not to put it down, to tell him for the voice to be down.
I want Bayswater Station fixed!
Our Government has a role in our lives. They should be able to fix these things.
The Government had made regulations around safety, around what could and couldn't go in the cargo hold.
Now I'm going to go and ring the Council, and talk to the Council and see if he can do something about it.
We need to learn about the Government, different departments in the Government.
So in Australia we have 3 different levels of Government. What about rubbish collection?
Local, that one.
If you have a problem, an issue, like problems with the dog barking, you just call the Local Council.
What about public transport?
The State Government, they do water; if we have enough water, and trains.
How fast can the bus drive?
Do you have to go at the speed limit?
What about Australia Post?
The Army, who's responsible for the Army?
The Prime Minister is the boss of the Federal Government.
They run money, and the pensioners, the Army.
Politicians, they say "Vote for us, we'll give you more physios or something. More hospitals, more doctors."
We have to do voting, so everybody could hear us out in the community.
I haven't been able to vote because I can't read or write. I didn't think I would be able to do it. We had a training session at Knox Scope. It changed my mind. Alex and you changed my mind, Rhonda. Everyone should vote, no matter who they are!
We're here to organise for you guys to be able to go and vote on Election Day. You have to apply on the Electoral Roll.
This is the application form, to enrol in order to vote. If you're eligible, so then you're allowed to vote; when you send this in, they're going to put your name on the book, and then they're going to expect you to vote.
Your current residential address, so what's your address?
The next time you go to the Post Office, you can hand it in.
I think people with disabilities should vote because they receive services from the Government. About how many staff we get to support us.
Is it important for people with disabilities to vote?
Yeah, it's really important for people with disabilities to vote. We don't want to be treated like babies, we don't want to be treated like teenagers; we want to be treated like civil adult people.
I don't see me, in an actual wheelchair, but I treat myself as a normal person. I say "Excuse me, I would like to vote, thank you."
If you want to know what's going on, you have to vote.
How do you find out who to vote for?
From the newspapers.
Yeah, that's one way.
I listen to the News... on TV.
Would you go to a Candidate's meeting?
Yeah, that's a good way to find out, while you're there you can also ask them questions that are specific for you.
A lack of Maxi Taxis?
Yeah, well there's some of the issues that would affect how you would vote obviously.
You can listen to the TV, the ads, and they can say "Oh vote me, and I promise you I'll do this, this and that."
And then, it's up to you who you really want to vote. You just go there, and you're asked your name,
and they cross it out, and then they give you papers, who you want to vote.
They give me a pen and I write on the boxes "1, 2, 3 and 4."
There you go. Signed, sealed.
It's important to vote the person you want. If we vote for them, they'll do something about it.
Depends who wins the Election... on the day.
Righto guys, well today's Election Day.
I am feeling very excited.
Is there certain areas you'd like to see change, or improve?
I think the footpaths need to be all upgraded.
And why do you say that? Are they rough or?
Yeah bit rough.
For your chair?
I think our taxi's here guys, ready to rock and roll.
If you don't be voting, you'll be fined.
You will get used to it. It will take your first time and then after it will be easier, voting.
What do you reckon, Dave?
I don't feel that scared about it, it's just a straightforward job, just turn up to the polling booth, they give you the ballot papers for each Candidate.
That's it, and you go in and fill out the form, and put it inside the ballot box and that's it.
Why bother doing it? What's the point?
To make the Government work much better.
You interested in any of them Dave?
What is your full name?
And where do you live?
OK, and have you voted before in this election?
You put a number 1 next to the candidate of your first choice, and then continue numbering the boxes all the way through to 10.
Anyone who's on the roll in the State of Victoria can vote here today.
I don't think there's anything to be nervous about, I think it's just one of those things that becomes routine,
once you've done it once you realise "Oh it's not that difficult, I'll be able to go next time and manage that."
OK Leigh, would you like a hand?
Who should tell you how to vote?
It's really up to you, who you want to vote.
I can give you a hand if you like. But have a go first.
OK, I'll put it in for you.
And that one, will go into here, OK?
And what is your full name?
"Hi, my name's David Burman."
And where do you live?
"I live at High Street."
Have you voted before in this Election?
Put a number 1 next to the Candidate of your first choice, and then continue numbering all the boxes.
OK who would you like to give you a hand?
Myself or an Election Official?
The Election Official?
On Election Day you can bring a carer, or a family member, or a friend, to come and help you vote. And they can help you fill out the ballot paper. Or else you can ask an Electoral Official on the day, there's people in the voting centre wearing an information bib. And they can help you vote as well.
So you need to choose which Candidate you want to put a 1 next to first.
So this Candidate here, his name is John Smith.
There are magnifying glasses which help you magnify the ballot paper. There's large pencils if you have trouble holding an ordinary pencil. If you need to bring your own pencil that you use to write with then that's fine as well.
Congratulations you've just voted, so thank you for voting.
I felt very much an adult, and a normal person! I'd like to vote, you know, everyone's future depends on it so,
I mean it's your right to do so.
We're quite lucky to have this right.
It was quite easy.
What would you say to people who are feeling scared?
I am feeling very excited!
I had trouble putting the papers in the box, but that's about all.
Don't be scared.
It won't bite you!
By the end of the day, they mix it all up, and they find out who has the most votes.
Your vote counts!
Everyone's vote counts!
So how are you feeling today Vanya?
On top of the world. I'm feeling on top of the world. Everyone's got to be heard, and if they don't vote they won't have a say. They'll just have to put up and shut up.
I just feel terrific because we can vote now.
To show people that we can vote, to show people that we do care. What happens in our community for disabled people. It's wonderful to be in Australia. And it's very important to vote!
Three Easy English worksheets about voting are available to download from the VEC website now. The worksheets will provide individuals and their supporters/support workers/carers with a visual learning tool as well as easier messaging to assist people with a range of access barriers to better understand their rights when it comes to their local government election. The worksheets are useful for anyone who may have limited English literacy. They are designed to be implemented with support.
Voting is for everyone
Voting is for Everyone is a visual learning tool for people with disabilities to learn why voting is important and how to enrol and vote. There is a facilitators guide to use alongside the video, and a voting plan for people to fill out and have ready to ensure that their supporters know what help they need to complete a postal vote at home this October.
Please note that although in the video it shows everyone attending a voting centre, this year the Local council elections will be by postal vote only.
Easy English guides
The VEC has published several handy Easy English guides for the Local Council elections 2020, which are available on our website. There are three guides: