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Current Affairs

ECI to provide braille voter slips to blind voters in Lok Sabha elections

Date: 05 February 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced to provide visually impaired and blind voters with braille voter slip in coming Lok Sabha elections this year. This initiative has been launched as part of ECI’s strategic framework for 'accessible elections'.

Braille voter slips

  • Chief electoral officers (CEOs) will issue these accessible photo voter slips with braille to voters who are visually impaired or blind.
  • The braille enabled slips were also used in recently held assembly elections. ECI is also planning to provide braille election photo identity cards to visually challenged.

Note: Electronic voting machines (EVMs) already have braille feature. The ballot paper pasted on EVMs with name and symbol of candidates is braille enabled.

Braille

  • It is tactile reading and writing system used by blind and visually impaired people who cannot access print material.
  • It was created Louis Braille in 1824 and named after it. It is script with raised dots that can be read with fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision.
  • It is read by moving hand or hands from left to right along each line. Both hands are usually involved in its reading process and index fingers are generally used in reading.

Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections

  • It is compilation of guidelines issued by ECI and Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Union Ministry of Social justice and Empowerment.
  • It was adopted on 4th July 2018 in National Consultation on Accessible Elections as part of ECI’s series of measures to maximize participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Election Process and premise of ‘No voter to be left behind’.
  • It aims at sensitization through education/training, involves communities of different sections of society, ties up with institutions and originations and create facilities to cater to specific needs of PwDs with view to increasing their participation in elections.
  • It also seeks to build equal access framework for PwDs supported by fundamentals of responsiveness, respect and dignity to enhance elector confidence among them and enhance their electoral participation.