Article 3, Protocol 1 - Right to Vote

The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.

What does this right mean?

Everyone has the right to vote for representatives who then make up the legislature. The elections must be free, fair, take place by secret ballot, occur at regular intervals and properly express the views of the electorate.

When could this be relevant?

  • Not restricting a persons right to vote on the basis of their age or physical or mental disability

  • Ensuring that voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use for older people

  • Respecting the right to vote in secret

  • Providing support to people to use their right to vote when they wish to do so.

Story example of Article 3, Protocol 1 issue

Jean always exercised her right to vote before becoming resident at a care home. The Scottish Parliamentary elections are coming up and she has been following the coverage on the television in her room every evening. She has repeatedly asked staff about how she will go and cast her vote on election day but nobody has reassured her. Election day goes by and she does not vote. The care home has assumed that because she has dementia that she does not have capacity to vote.