Registration must not be restricted among potential voters based on literacy.
- 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.
- Information and materials about voting should be available in minority languages.
- ...[S]ignificant segments of the population [should not be] disenfranchised (prevented from voting) by: (1) unreasonable criteria restricting eligibility, such as the use of distinctions based on race, color, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, social group, past political affiliations, literacy, property ownership and ability to pay.
- People who are illiterate must be able to distinguish between the ballots without their right to secret elections infringed.
- Specific methods such as photographs and symbols should be adopted to ensure that illiterate voters have adequate information on which to base their choice.
- Reasonable requirements are usually limited to minimum age, nationality and mental capacity. The work of the Human Rights Committee provides a good deal of guidance on the limits of reasonable restrictions. In the course of their deliberations, as mandated by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, members of the Committee have noted that the following limitations on voting rights are not permissible: (e) literacy requirements.
- Unreasonable restrictions [on voter registration] include: literacy.
- National authorities should take positive measures to overcome specific difficulties such as illiteracy and language barriers which prevent persons entitled to vote from exercising their right effectively.
- States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by] safeguarding the right to vote of vulnerable groups (people with disabilities, people who are illiterate, etc.) by adapting polling stations and voting material to their needs.
- Unreasonable restrictions include those based on race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, past political affiliations, language, literacy, property, or ability to pay a registration fee.