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Election Commission introduces ballot paper in Braille for visually-impaired voters

Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu has directed the district electoral officers to make arrangements for Braille voting ballot paper to ensure their participation in the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 11, 2019 08:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
(File)
         

To make elections more inclusive, the Election Commission has instructed the chief electoral officers of all the states to print ballot paper in Braille for visually-impaired voters.

Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer L Venkateshwarlu has directed the district electoral officers to make arrangements for Braille voting ballot paper to ensure their participation in the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.

“There is a sizable section of visually-impaired voters that can use Braille. For the first time in the country, the Election Commission has instructed all the state electoral officers to print Braille ballot paper,” said Venkateshwarlu.

According to officials, the Uttar Pradesh Divyang Kalyan Nigam has been instructed to print about 10,000 Braille ballot papers.

“This is a unique exercise. The state is preparing the names of all Braille proficient visually-impaired people who are eligible to cast their vote,” an official familiar with the matter said. “Divyang Empowerment Directorate in Nishatganj has written a letter to the Braille Press, Nishatganj, to print special ballot paper. Each sheet prepared for polling stations will be certified by the Commission of Disabilities of the state concerned,” said Ajit Kumar, director of Divyang Empowerment Directorate.

“We look forward to an election this time where many visually-impaired people will be able to cast their vote on priority without any assistance. This will give a boost to their self-respect. The Braille ballot paper will be of great help in making election process more inclusive,” said Prof Rakesh Chandra, an educationist.

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 08:27 IST

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