Whether the provisions of the Public Offices Election Act, which limits the people who cannot write letters to vote for polling place clerks when voting in elections, violate the Constitution that guarantees the secret ballot. In the disputed trial, the second-instance Osaka High Court ruled that it did not violate the Constitution following the first-instance and dismissed the complaint.

The Public Offices Election Law stipulates that if a person who cannot write letters wishes to vote with a ghostwriter, the person who asks for the ghostwriter is limited to the polling place clerk in order to prevent voting that is different from the person's intention. ..

Mr. Yasuhiro Nakata of Toyonaka City, Osaka, who has cerebral palsy, wanted to be written by his own reliable helper in the Upper House election five years ago, but was refused by the Election Commission and abandoned the vote.

Mr. Nakata filed a proceeding, claiming that "the provisions of the law that must tell the clerk where to vote violates the constitution that guarantees the secret ballot", but the first instance dismissed the complaint last year. I did.

In the decision of the second trial on the 30th, Tomoichiro Nishikawa, the judge of the Osaka High Court, said, "The clerk has a duty of confidentiality as a civil servant and imposes punishment sanctions so that no one else knows the content of the vote. It is institutionally treated. It is unavoidable to restrict the confidentiality of voting by the provisions of the law in order to ensure the fairness of the election. " I did.

Background limited by law revision

The provision to limit the number of people who ask for ghostwriting to polling place clerks in election voting was included when the Public Offices Election Act was amended eight years ago.

This amendment is another provision of the Public Offices Election Act, which states that if a person with intellectual disability or dementia uses the power of attorney system, he / she is considered to have lost his / her judgment ability and it is unconstitutional to lose the right to vote. It was done in response to a judicial decision.

Among them, for those who ask for a ghostwriter for which there was no clear standard until then, in order to prevent fraudulent voting that is different from the person's intention, it is stipulated as a "person engaged in polling place affairs" who is a civil servant of a local government employee. I did.

Regarding this provision, the government said in a trial, "Clerks who are civil servants have a duty of confidentiality from a neutral position and can expect appropriate actions. It is difficult to clearly distinguish between those who have the ability to make decisions about choosing a partner and those who do not, and it is rational to limit the ghostwriter to a clerk. "

Plaintiff Mr. Nakata "Vote in the way that suits you"

Plaintiff Yasuhiro Nakata, who lives in Toyonaka City, Osaka, has a disability in both arms due to cerebral palsy and cannot write well.

Therefore, I think that there is a risk that the vote by handwriting will be invalid because the paper is torn or the characters cannot be read, and before the Public Offices Election Act was amended in 2013, there was a relationship of trust with the family. I was asking a helper for a ghostwriter.

However, the amendment of the law stipulates the person to write for, and I will ask a stranger administrative clerk, and I think that I am not convinced that I will know where to vote, so unless a helper is allowed to write for me, I will do it in the future. I'm going to give up voting in the election.

Before the decision of the second trial, Mr. Nakata said, "I am not denying the vote by the clerk, I just want to be able to vote in a way that suits me. I want you to put out. "

Plaintiff Mr. Nakata "Judgment is very disappointing and disappointing"

After the decision, plaintiff Yasuhiro Nakata said at a press conference, "I am very disappointed and disappointed. I frankly thought that equal voting for persons with disabilities was still a long way off. I have to tell the clerk where to vote. Under the current rules, I have to give up voting, so I have to appeal. "