Victory in Spain: People with intellectual disabilities will be able to vote for the first time.


Read the article in Spanish here

The Constitutional Commission of the Spanish Congress of Deputies has given the green light to the reform of the country’s electoral system, which will restore the right to vote to 100.000 persons that could not do so because their capacity had been legally modified, most of which are people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

This reform addresses a historical requirement made by the organizations of disabled people. For 7 years, Plena Inclusión, through its #MyVoteCounts campaign, to raise awareness within the citizens and the public authorities about the discrimination that persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities face, by automatically taking them out of the electoral census and denaying their right to vote. This has achieved this with the leadership of these people, by lobbying politicians of different parliamentary groups, launching videos and sensitizing others  to claim this right.

As part of this campaign, this morning, deputies that were entering Congress met a group of persons with intellectual disability who approached them to give them a flower and a flyer on  Plena Inclusión #MyVoteCounts campaign, showing appreciation for their work in achieving this important reform.

The Spanish government finally responds to the commitment of legislative revision in this area acquired by ratifying in 2008 the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, that in its Article 29 states the obligation to “ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others […] including the right and opportunity […] to vote and be elected[…]”

After this reform, which is only missing the formality of passing through Senate and the final ratification by Congress, Plena Inclusión will direct its attention towards demanding that all the information about the electoral process can be easier to understand. Despite the fact that everybody has the right to vote, there still are people who cannot do it on an equal basis with others.