Election Commission to consider vote-from-home facility for people with disabilities
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is clearly committed to the idea of making elections accessible for people with disabilities across India. Apart from voter ID cards in Braille, mobile app to educate and motivate disabled voters, and sign language windows in polling booths, it is looking at several other measures to ensure disabled people are not left out of the voting process.
Some other steps being looked at by the ECI:
- Advance voting or early voting
- Transport assistance or mobile polling station concept
However, steps will have to be taken to ensure that these measures do not compromise the legality of the voting process. The ECI will look at whether disabled people can vote before the general voting hours so they do not have to line up outside the polling booths. The possibility of extending the postal ballot facility will also be considered.
At the end of a two-day national consultation meet held last week on Accessible Elections, the ECI also agreed to look at what legislative measures steps can be taken to increase the electoral participation of disabled voters.
The ECI also plans to closely look into the kind of barriers that prevent people with disabilities from casting their votes. Some other steps they plan to take up are developing user-friendly websites for disabled people from different categories, customised voter education for people with different kinds of disabilities, and setting up special committees on accessible elections.