EC’s big step ahead of polls: Soon, Braille voter ID cards, special booths for the visually challenged

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New Delhi | Published: July 5, 2018 1:38:56 PM

The Commission has said it has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations during elections for people with disabilities.

braille voter id cards, EC initiative, visually impaired, election commission, CEC, chief election commissioner, O P Rawat, EPIC, national level consultation, ashok  lavasaCEC O P Rawat and ECs Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa facilitating Persons with Visual Impairment with Braille enabled EPIC card. (Source: Election Commission of India official site)

In a move that will facilitate greater participation of the visually challenged and differently abled in the election process, the Election Commission has said that it will be introducing braille voter identity cards for such electors across the country. The Commission has said it has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations during elections for people with disabilities.

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat announced a series of measures while addressing the concluding session of National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections. These include Printing of EPIC (Electors Photo Identity Card) with braille, accessible communication awareness material, a mobile application to motivate and educate. A new accessible division would also be constituted in India International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management (IIIDEM), New Delhi.

Besides, the commission will also appoint “disability coordinators” at the assembly constituency, district and state level. There would be free transport facility for Person With Disabilities (PWDs) and their assistants.

The CEC had said that commission will be making all election-related awareness material available in accessible formats which also include the photo voter slips. Sign language windows will also be provided in all audio-visual training and awareness content of the commission for the convenience of visually impaired voters.

The set of recommendations that have been received from the consultations will be examined thoroughly, said Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa. He further added that efforts would be made for their time-bound implementation.

A review of the programme will be taking place in next three months. The Commission also facilitated two blind voters with Braille enabled EPIC Cards marking the first step towards this initiative at the recently held two-days National Level Consultation held by the Election Commission.

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