To uphold the sanctity of free and fair elections and ensure wider participation by people with disabilities in the electoral process, the Election Commission of India had selected ‘Accessible Elections’ as the central theme of year 2018.
The barriers in access to electoral participation by PwDs:
- Difficulties in voter registration
- Inaccessible registration materials or facilities
- Inadequate or inaccessible voter education and related materials
- Difficulties in physical access to polling stations
- Inability to vote independently and privately
- Absence of or inappropriate assistance from poll workers etc.
|Constitutional and Legal safeguards:|
Steps taken by Election Commission:
Directions and Guidelines of the Election Commission for making elections “Accessible”:
- Identification of PwDs including polling station-wise list
- Facilitation in filling up voter registration forms
- Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) at Polling Stations
- Priority-based access to facilities at polling stations
- Matdata Sahayata Kendras and other election offices in the field
- Involvement of NGos, CSos/DPos, rwAs
- System Sensitisation and Training
- Use of technology in aid of PwDs
- Training and sensitisation of officials handing the work relating to PwDs
SVEEP (systematic voters’ education and electoral participation):
Voter education and outreach for PwDs is an integral part of the SVEEP plans. Broad areas of coverage include-
- An officer well versed with provisions of facilities for PwDs shall be designated for each of the Assembly Constituencies.
- wide publicity through various modes shall be ensured.
- General publicity material shall be prepared in simple language, sign language and braille.
Special/mobile camps to be organised to educate and motivate PwDs.