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EC to introduce ‘accesibility observers’ to help disabled cast votes, says Lavasa in Pune event

Chhattisgarh will be the first state in the country to hold disabled-friendly elections this year, Lavasa said.

pune Updated: Sep 25, 2018 16:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times Pune
pune,disabled voters,election commissioner
Ashok Lavasa (left) and Bharat Vatwani at the foundation day of NIBM on Monday (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

The Election Commission of India has for the first time appointed ‘accessibility observers’ to check and ensure that people with disability are able to cast votes. The move is aimed at ensuring wider participation by people with disabilities as there have been instances in the past where such people could not vote.

Speaking at National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) here on Monday, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said the observers will ensure that necessary infrastructure is available at each booth where people with disabilities come and vote.

Chhattisgarh will be the first state in the country to hold disabled-friendly elections this year, Lavasa said.

As a part of making the polling booth more accessible to disabled people, centres will have ramp, where wheel-chair bound voter can cast his vote.

Lavasa said Election Commission of India (ECI) has also launched the distribution of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) with Braille features for visually challenged voters by handing them over to two of the recipients.

Earlier in July, the Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had announced that the Commission has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations for the People with Disabilities during elections.

According to Rawat, Disability Coordinators would be appointed at the levels of Assembly Constituencies, Districts and States and a mobile app would be developed in-house for the such people with disabilities to facilitate them participate fully in election processes. Rawant had said that disabled people will be permitted to avail public transport along with their attendants on the day of polling.

The ECI would make available all its election related awareness materials in accessible formats for the disabled people.

First Published: Sep 25, 2018 16:17 IST