Representative of Germany at Eurovision 2002, Corinna May has lost in court after she had trouble voting in a local election. After running out of time to mail her ballot for the local election in Bremen in May last year, Corina went to polling station in order to cast her vote. She asked if she was allowed to bring her husband to the voting booth with her, but she was declined with the claims that would compromise her privacy so May didn’t vote.
May then took the case to the electoral review court, which threw it out in November last year claiming that adequate provisions were in place but May hadn’t taken advantage of them. Corinna appealed the decision, and the case went to the state constitutional court in Bremen which later on rejected her appeal stating that there was “no indication that blind or visually-impaired people would have been prevented from exercising their right to vote in a way that was relevant to election results.”
German law allows blind people to vote with an assistant but they could also for stencil voting or a postal vote. Other methods could be used to help to resolve the problem with which visually impaired voters face while voting. Audio ballots could be a part of the problem too, as the explanation of the voting procedure on the CD lasts for four hours which is time consuming. Not a lot of political parties are using audio formats or Braille to share their programs, which causes a lot of visually-impaired voters to miss the important information regarding candidates running for office. The method which could bring the full accessibility is electronic ballots. After Bremen constitutional court ruled the election valid, the case may be looked by the federal constitutional court while the second case regarding the European election is still awaiting it’s verdict at the European court. But it seems very unlikely for it to be in Corinna’s favor.
Federal elections in Germany are set to take place in a year, and activists are hoping that those will be the most accessible elections for people with visual impairments.
There were other artists with disability who took part at Eurovision: Maria Christian (Ireland 1985), Serafín Zubiri (Spain 1992 & 2000), Diana Gurtskaya (Georgia 2008), Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (Finland 2015), Monika Kuszynska (Poland 2015) and Julia Samoylova (Russia 2018) as well as interval act of Eurovision 2019, Shalva Band.