Ensure accessibility in the ULB elections: SCPD Nagaland writes to SEC

BY | Friday, 21 June, 2024

The State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD), Nagaland Diethono Nakhro has written to the State Election Commissioner on measures to be taken to ensure accessibility in the ULB Elections.

In a statement issued today, June 21, the court of the SCPD drew attention to the section of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016,  whereby it states:

“Section 11 – The Election Commission ofIndia and the State Election Commissions shall ensure that all polling stations are accessible to persons with disabilities and all materials related to the electoral process  are easily understandable by and accessible to them.”

And Section 8 of the Nagaland Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2019 which states:

“Section 8. Accessibility in voting – The State Election Department shall ensure that the election process is made accessible to People with Disabilities. It will take all necessary measures on enrolment, accessibility ofpolling stafions and all materials related to the electoral  process.

As per mentioned provisions, the SCPD stated that reasonable accommodations are required to be made to ensure that eligible voters with disabilities are able to fully participate in the electoral process, which include the following:

  1. Identification of electors with disabilities polling station wise.
  2. Ensuring Physical Access and Facilities at Polling Stations: This should include, among others, setting up polling stations in accessible areas and on the ground floor, provision of ramps where required, voting tables set at appropriate/accessible height, provision of clear signages, wide doorways and adequate space inside the polling station, etc.
  3. Provision of wheelchairs at identified polling stations.
  4. Provision of volunteers at polling stations to assist persons with disabilities.
  5. Priority Entry Passes for persons with disabilities to ensure that they are not required to wait in queue.

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  1. Provision of Alternative Voting Methods like advance or early voting and voting from home to enable disabled people with high support needs to exercise their franchise.
  2. Training and sensitisation of polling officials so that they understand and are empathetic to the needs of voters with disabilities.

“The information received till date on preparations made for the upcoming ULB Elections in the State makes no mention of facilities being provided for electors with disabilities. It is imperative that the above mentioned provisions are administered and implemented by your Office so that persons with disabilities are not left out from exercising their Adult Franchise,” stated the SCPD, Nagaland.

It further directed that the Action Taken Report is to be submitted to the Court on or before June 24  through hard copy or email at scpdnagaland@gmail.com.

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