The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has launched a braille ballot guide to assist eligible voters who are visually impaired to assist them cast their ballot without support in the Osun State governorship poll.
The governorship election between 48 candidates will take place on Saturday.
During the launching of the guide at the media centre in Osogbo on Tuesday, the resident electoral commissioner, Segun Agbaje, explained the decision.
“In bid for the commission to break every barrier during the election process, we have deemed it fit to provide braille ballot guide for voters with visual impairments to vote using the braille ballot guide.
“The braille ballot guide is another step forward in the area to assist people with disabilities. We promised that the usage of the braille will be maintained by guiding people with disabilities on how to use it during Osun State governorship election and 2019 general elections.”
The commissioner also promised that INEC will look to areas whereby people with disabilities ”will not have issues during electoral processes”.
“We are going to see how we will improve in making polling units accessible for people with disabilities against 2019 general elections. But already we have to work with our electoral officers at the local government areas to ensure that the lapses we saw in Ekiti State election do not repeat themselves by ensuring that those people with disabilities are given attention during election.”
The official said the commission is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities were not disenfranchised.
Meanwhile, the executive director of Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), Grace Jerry, commended the action.
“For the first time in our country’s history, INEC would be piloting a braille ballot guide to assist voters with visual impairments to cast their ballot without any support in line with section 56 (2) of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended, and Nigeria’s secret ballot system.
”The Access Nigeria campaign and its ally, NAPVID worked closely with INEC to design and produce the guide,” she said.
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