The path to accessible elections in India is filled with roadblocks
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had assured that upcoming elections in Maharashtra are going to be accessible for people with disabilities and the elderly. Looks like, it is not that easy. Inadequate data of disabled people and lack of awareness about elections are the new roadblocks in making elections accessible!
Even though there are more than 3 lakh eligible disabled voters in the state, only 1.3 lakh have been recorded as disabled voters till date. That is because most of the disabled voters were enrolled as normal voters in the previous elections. This has made things even more complicated for the ECI. Hence, officials are all set to do a door-to-door survey to get the statistics right.
Booth level officers are reaching out to NGO's and other organizations that work with disabled people. Since such an exercise is taking place for the first time, officials are ensuring that everything goes well.
Over the past few months, ECI has been keeping a close watch on how to make elections accessible across India. Authorities discussed issues with disabled people and NGO's to know the prevalent situation. The ECI even issued guidelines to many states that must be followed during election time.
ECI hopes to clear all barriers in another three months so that elections are not made troublesome for disabled people.