The Electoral Commission is establishing a new fund, called the Election Access Fund, to support disabled people to stand as candidates in parliamentary general elections and by-elections.
The purpose of the Fund is to reduce cost barriers faced by disabled people by covering disability related costs which non-disabled candidates do not face. The Fund covers both seeking selection to be a candidate, and campaigning as a candidate.
The Fund will enable the Commission to pay for additional costs that candidates incur as a result of their disability when organising and preparing to stand for Parliamentary elections.
There will be $1m in the Fund for people to apply to use. We are responsible for setting up and running the fund.
We are seeking input from disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, political parties, and other interested people and organisations about who should be able to apply to the Fund, what sort of expenses the Fund could cover and how it should be accessed.
The Electoral Commission's role
We are required by law to design, set up, and run the Election Access Fund.
This includes consulting widely and making all of the decisions needed on how the Fund will work and what funding applicants can get. We are also responsible for making the Fund available before each general election and by-election, and for welcoming and processing applications.
How will we set up the Election Access Fund?
We are currently running a project to set up the Election Access Fund. This includes developing policies and processes, consultation, raising awareness, providing information in alternate formats, and setting up processes for ongoing administration of the Fund, including receiving and assessing applications.
The project has a Steering Group responsible for the overall direction and management of how the Fund will be set up. The Steering Group is made up of senior staff from the Electoral Commission, an advisor from the Office for Disability Issues and a member from the DPO (Disabled People’s Organisations) Coalition.
Get updates about the Election Access Fund
If you'd like to receive updates about the Election Access Fund, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you to our mailing list.