The trip to the polling place can become a great challenge for people with physical disabilities. Voting online, however, makes it easier for disabled, sick or elderly individuals to partake in elections. In some cases voting online is the only way these people can exercise their right to vote. Only very recently was the Federal Republic of Germany rebuked for showing far too little progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – and that is at all levels, in nearly all areas.

Even though disabled and sick persons are equal members of society with the exact same rights, they are regularly confronted with all sorts of disadvantages. This is also apparent during elections. Only with the digitalisation of democracy was the complete inclusion of these groups into democratic processes possible, and with it the legitimisation of the ballot results of every citizen who wishes to exercise their right to vote.

Disabilities and illness hinder voters

For individuals with limited mobility, going to the polling place can be very difficult. In some cases it isn’t even possible without assistance. Even a postal election requires making the trip to the letter box. Sudden illnesses and stays in the hospital can also prevent authorised voters from casting their vote on election day. Due to the unpredictability of such events, a postal vote is no alternative. And both types of election could also lead to the voting right of those affected not being used.

Voting online even possible from the sick bed

This is where the opportunity to vote online significantly simplifies things: The voter can vote comfortably from their home computer without having to leave the house. A vote can even be cast from a mobile end device (e.g. tablet PC, smartphone or notebook) direct from the sick bed.

The geographically unlimited opportunity to vote online is also a significant relief for individuals with disabilities, illnesses and the elderly, and can thus greatly increase voter participation among these groups.

Image Source: Querschnitt  /

About Anna-Maria Palzkill

As a communication scientist I am interested in the impact of technics on life among politics and economics. I want to trace nuances and am not afraid of big words.


Digital Democracy