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Election Commission to order thorough mapping of disabled voters ahead of national elections

To ensure disabled people come and vote in the largest possible numbers in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission (EC) is planning to conduct intensive mapping.

The EC will ask all the states to conduct a thorough mapping exercise of disabled voters to make sure that the maximum numbers of people with disabilities come out and vote and no one is left out.

The commission is on a mission to ensure no disabled voter is left out. This is after it found that many people with disabilities are unable to exercise their fundamental right to vote. The biggest barrier coming in the way is that there is no national-level database of voters with disabilities.

Earlier this year the EC held consultations at the district-level across India to identify what kind of barriers lie in the way of accessible elections. The issues that come up with regards to registration and polling were then taken up at state-level meetings.

Some of the issues that were discussed were -

  • Booth-wise mapping of people with disabilities.
  • Accessible websites and awareness programmes.
  • Need to hold registration and sensitisation camps.
  • Partner with people with disabilities as icons.
  • Collaborate with disability NGOs.
  • Sensitisation of the election officials.

The Election Commission has asked for a special summary revision of the electoral rolls of all states and Union Territories. 1 January 1 2019 has been declared as the qualifying date of age.

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