Rajasthan News

Visually impaired voters used Brail EVMs to cast vote in Rajasthan

by RajasthanDirect
Dec 06, 2013

Election Commission made a special arrangements for visually impaired voters in Rajasthan. Along with a option to vote with a help of a companion, Braille signage facilities were also provided. More than 17,683 visually impaired voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their voting right. As many as 943 visually impaired, cast their votes by making use of Braille signage facilities, while 16,740 voted by using a companion.

Associations of the visually impaired were all praise for the Election Commission for the full-fledged and special arrangements made for visually impaired voters to cast their votes without any companions for the first time in the state assembly elections. There were options for visually impaired to either use Braille signage facilities or a companion.

The state witnessed a record polling in its history and the visually impaired also participated in the voting with enthusiasm. The commission had printed dummy ballot sheet in Braille, which was made available at each and every polling booth in the state.

Jitendra Nath Bhargava, joint secretary Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh, said, “This is for the first time dummy ballot sheet were introduced in assembly elections in every booths. Earlier, such arrangements were made during the Lok Sabha elections but in the assembly elections it has been done for the first time for all the polling booths. The dummy ballot papers in Braille were also used in bypolls of Vidhan Sabha in 2008. Now, as they were made available at all the booths, the visually impaired find no difficulty in voting.”

He said that there were many visually impaired, at least more than a lakh, voters. “Maybe these one lakh people voted not using Braille signage as they were with companions,” he said. Also, there were 16,740 voters who used companions for different reasons.

Around 55,000 dummy ballots in Braille were printed according to the candidates contesting elections in different constituencies. There were 47,000 polling booths in the state.

The dummy ballot paper provides information – details of candidates, serial numbers and their political parties. When a visually impaired person goes to a polling booth, the returning officer or any other booth level officer provide the dummy ballot paper in Braille to the visually impaired voter. He reads it and selects the candidate and keeps in mind the serial number of the selected candidate. After providing the identity proof to the officials, he goes to EVM in which the serial numbers of candidates are provided in Braille. He reads the serial number and presses the button adjacent to the selected candidate’s serial number in the ballot paper. The serial numbers on dummy ballot paper and on the EVM are the same.

In Pachpadra constituency, only 142 visually impaired cast their votes and that too without requiring any companion, as the Election Commission has made the process simple. Bhargava said in the 2008 assembly elections, these voters required a companion to cast their votes. In Asind constituency, 29 visually impaired, 29 in Sirohi, 23 in Masuda, 20 in Kishangarh and 20 in Dhariwad cast their votes.

But there are many other constituencies where not a single visually impaired, who require Braille signage facility, did not turn up to vote alone, as they are accompanied by a companion. In Jaipur’s 19 constituencies, 64 visually impaired used Braille signage facilities.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/26926885.cms

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