All visually impaired persons who qualify to vote in this year’s general elections will have unhindered access to cast their ballot at all the polling stations across the country.
Although the Electoral Commission provided tactile ballot jacket for in the last general elections, some persons with visual impairment claimed they were disenfranchised due to the absence of tactile ballot jackets at some polling stations.
But the Head of Gender and Disability at the Electoral Commission, Abigail Nutakor, told 3News Tuesday the Commission has procured enough tactile ballot jacket for all polling stations to enable those with visual impairment cast their vote unhindered.
What is tactile ballot jacket?
She described the tactile ballot jacket as a cardboard folder with raised dots arranged numerically to represent the positions of each of the candidates on the ballot paper. Besides each numerical arrangement is a corresponding window, which is big enough to accommodate the thumb for voting.
The tactile ballot jacket has been designed to easily identify the top with a notch to avoid a mix up in the event it is turned upside down. Users are also guided with a perforated edge of the ballot paper to identify the top as well.
Blind or partially sighted voters independently slot the ballot paper into the tactile folder and with the help of the numerically arranged raised dots, select they their preferred candidate and consequently cast their vote by thumb printing in the window provided. Two tactile jacket for each polling station
Ms Nutakor said each polling station will have two tactile ballot jacket in the December 7 elections, explaining that one will be for the presidential and the other for the parliamentary election.
She said the jackets for the parliamentary election are made constituency-specific, which she said will be dependent on the number of candidates on the ballot paper. That of the presidential election will be standard across the country since the presidential candidates are the same throughout the constituencies across the country.
Meanwile, Ms Nutakor says physically challenged persons are who turn up to cast their votes will not be obliged to joins queues at the various polling stations