State Commissioner for PwD reminds ECI’s framework on accessible elections

Kohima: The State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Diethono Nakhro has written to the Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, to remind that all measures need to be taken to enable all voters with disabilities to exercise their franchise

BY | Monday, 8 August, 2022

As the State prepares for the upcoming General Election in 2023, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Diethono Nakhro has written to the Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, to remind that all measures need to be taken to enable all voters with disabilities to exercise their franchise without any obstacles or barriers, in line with the ECI’s Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections.

It was also pointed out that Section 11 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 states: “The Election Commission of India 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.”

The following aspects, which are all included in the aforementioned Strategic Framework, were underlined for action:


Advise the political parties:

  1. To have their constitution and manifestoes in an accessible format
  2. To make their websites accessible for all persons with disabilities
  3. All political consultations and campaigns to be made accessible to persons with disabilities in terms of infrastructure, information, and communication
  4. Booth Level Agents (BLAs) of political parties may have representation from among PwDs
  5. BLAs and Polling Agents to be sensitized about the right to equal participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process


Database of voters with disabilities:

  1. Consolidation of the database of voters with disabilities according to Polling Station to facilitate the planning of services to be offered, training and sensitization of polling personnel, transportation facilities, and availability of required volunteers.
  2. Database of voters with disabilities, complete with the nature of the disability, assistance required and service offered at the poll/facilitation centre should be made ready before the start of the electoral process. Such lists should be made available to the Presiding Officers, Sector Magistrates, DPOs/CSOs, and Facilitation Centres. Care to be taken that the information should not be made public.


  1. Training and Sensitisation of election officials and staff should be conducted so that they understand and are empathetic to the needs of voters with disabilities. The training should be factored into regular training for the staff as also for the registration and facilitation of the PwDs.

Physical Access and Facilities at Polling Stations:

  1. Exclusive polling booths, as far as practicable, should be set up for PwDs in places where they reside in large numbers.
  2. Ensure that polling stations are situated on the ground floor. If not, a lift facility/extension of a ramp to each floor should be provided.
  3. A standardized and uniform design of ramps shall be implemented.
  4. Temporary/Mobile ramps shall be made available wherever a permanent facility cannot be provided.
  5. Other facilities according to the needs of persons with disabilities like accessible toilets, tactile signage outside the polling stations, and a Voters’ guide in braille for the visually impaired voters should be made available
  6. Access to ramps shall be made smooth in places of sandy and slushy pathways.
  7. Ramps shall be provided in such a manner that it directly leads to the door of polling stations to avoid navigating through corridors.
  8. Proper approach roads to Polling Stations shall be ensured by local authorities/respective departments.
  9. Mobile barricades should be erected in front of the doors of each Polling Station.
  10. The entrance door of the polling station shall be kept wide open and adequate space around the voting compartment should be ensured for wheelchair movement.
  11. Tables on which voting machines are placed should be of an accessible height for wheelchair users and people of short stature.
  12. A facility for separate entry should be made available for PwDs wherever necessary
  13. Pathway to polling rooms shall have indicators with standard signage.
  14. Depending on the number of PwDs among electors in a polling station, facilities like a ramp, tricycles, and basic information through audio- video, should be made available. These facilities should be physically verified and certified by the Commission.
  15. Wheelchairs shall be provided at identified polling stations.
  16. Transport assistance should be made available to voters with disabilities who need it.
  17. Priority entry passes shall be issued to persons with disabilities. All possible steps should be taken to ensure that PwDs are not required to wait in the queue.



  1. Alternative voting methods like advance voting or early voting, voting from home, postal vote, or mobile polling station concept should be considered without compromising on the essential requirements of sanctity and secrecy of the vote.



  1. Poll volunteers from among future voters can be organized from educational institutions, NCC/NSS, and other non-partisan voluntary groups and trained to assist voters with disabilities on polling day.

The State Commissioner further requested that a meeting of the State Steering Committee on Accessible Elections along with other stakeholders is called at the earliest to deliberate on an Action Plan to ensure Accessible Elections for voters with disabilities.



You cannot copy content of this page