Dimitris Logaras, National Confederation of Disabled People, Greece

“After having participated in all the electoral processes of recent years, both my colleagues with visual disabilities and I have faced the inappropriate and contradictory operation of the electoral process regarding our participation in it. By the inappropriate and contradictory operation of the electoral process, I refer to the attitude of returning officer who is responsible, as they claim, for applying the existed legal framework by not allowing the blind person to choose the person that they trust to accompany them to the voting booth. This situation underlines the contradictory attitude of the state since, on the one hand, it does not allow persons with disabilities to choose how they want and prefer to vote, while on the other hand, it has enacted the law 4074/2012 through which it ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, it is inconceivable that the person trusted by the blind voter should be considered as they are violating the secrecy of the ballot while the unknown official who will accompany the blind voter to the voting booth is not. We hope that the Greek state soon will reach a final solution since the way the electoral process currently operates violates both the secrecy of the ballot, as foreseen by the Greek Constitution, and the right of persons with disabilities to vote without barriers.”