With respect to candidates for office, there should be no restrictions on candidates for reasons such as physical disability.
- Ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia, by: i. Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use; ii. Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate.
- States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability.
- It is unreasonable to restrict the right to vote on the ground of physical disability or to impose literacy, educational or property requirements. Party membership should not be a condition of eligibility to vote, nor a ground of disqualification.
- Handicapped or severely ill people must also have a chance to vote.
- Polling stations should be situated in venues that are accessible to all voters, especially the elderly and the people with disabilities.
- There should be clear procedures for the provision of necessary assistance to disabled, illiterate and elderly voters that protect, as far as possible, their right to vote secretly.
- Election laws may contain special provisions to facilitate voting by persons who are physically disabled, those in hospital or in prisons, those who are out of the country or who cannot come to the polling station for other valid reasons.
- An effort should be made to design election materials that are accessible to disadvantaged voters such as the blind and the deaf. In the absence of these materials, assistance should be provided to enable such voters to vote.
- Voters with special needs, including the disabled, the elderly, students, conscripts, workers (including migrant workers out of the country), foreign service personnel and prisoners who have retained voting rights, should be accommodated.
- Consensus exists that certain criteria to limit who has the right to vote are unacceptable. Based on Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international human rights instruments, the following criteria cannot be employed to restrict who in a society has the right to vote: Race, Color, Sex, Language, Religion, Political or Other Opinion, National or social origin, or Ownership of property. Similarly, there is agreement that the right to vote cannot be refused to an individual because he or she is illiterate or lacks financial resources. In addition, based on international standards and practices the right to vote should not be denied based on a person's physical disabilities or sexual orientation.