Laura Sharman 14 April 2021

Care home residents 'barred' from voting booth says care group

Care home residents barred from voting booth says care group image

A care group has branded it a 'national scandal' that care home residents will be unable to vote in person in the local elections without self-isolating for 14 days afterwards.

The National Care Forum (NCF) said Government guidance will exclude around half a million people from being able to vote in person without facing two-weeks of isolation on their return.

The NCF said the Government should have paused the elections or ensured everyone was made aware of the options available to them for post and proxy voting.

Vic Rayner, CEO of the NCF, said: 'As politicians (both local and national) across England, Scotland and Wales take up the campaign trail again this week, there are a group of constituents who will be feeling that their voices and opinions are less valid and less valuable than the rest of the population.

'It could be argued that care home residents can register to vote by post, or to have a proxy to vote for them. However, that is, and should be, a choice. It should not be because other opportunities to exercise their democratic right has been removed by the Government.'

The NCF is calling for the restrictions to be changed to ensure those visiting a local polling station do not need to spend the following 14 days isolating in their room.

Ms Rayner added: 'There has not been additional support provided to care homes to make sure that those constituents, many of whom will have very strong political opinions, are enabled to vote.

'In fact, it would seem that there has not even been a recognition that the latest guidance on visiting out from care homes takes the decision to vote in person firmly out of the hands of care home residents.'

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