A visually impaired woman is campaigning for online voting to be introduced in Enfield to ensure people like her have the right to a secret ballot.

Charlotte McMillan, who lives on Ladysmith Road, has a rare condition known as Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, which means she has very poor central vision.

The 22-year-old, who works for the Home Office, has to rely on her peripheral vision – but that makes tasks that involve a lot of detail, like reading, very difficult.

So Ms McMillan is petitioning Enfield Council to trial online voting for visually impaired and other disabled members of the electorate, to enable them to vote in secret.

She said: “We all have the right to a secret vote, but there is no way for us to do that. It is a very big struggle. The people at the polling station do not get it at all. They hand you a magnifier, but my eyesight is so bad it doesn’t work.

“I take my mum along, but I know a few others who don’t like telling anyone who they vote for. I know a girl who had to find someone to take, and it was so hard to find someone to go with her.”

Ms McMillan explained that most visually impaired people are used to using tablets equipped with special software that allows them to complete tasks without having to ask for help.

But while online voting has been introduced in countries such as France and Canada, it has not yet been rolled out in the UK.

This means that while blind and partially sighted voters have the right to vote in secret under the 2010 Equality Act, it is not always possible for them to do so in practice.

“The reason we are petitioning for smaller elections is they are worried about the fraud,” she said, explaining that the smaller number of voters increases the risk of criminal activity affecting the result.

She added: “We have had a lot of support. I was running the London Marathon, so that was my focus until now. But everyone I have spoken to about the petition is very much on board.”

To sign the petition, visit: https://governance.enfield.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=207&RPID=67455991&HPID=67455991&zTS=undefined