Visually-impaired voters to vote without aides in December Polls

Visually-impaired voters will be able to vote for their preferred candidates in next month’s elections without interference by aides in next month’s elections.
 
It follows the introduction of tactile jackets to facilitate the voting process for visually impaired.
 
Voters with visual impairment say they have over the years been unable to choose for themselves the people they want to vote for.
 
There are reports of some aides thumb-printing for candidates other the ones directed by the owner of the vote.
 
The secrecy of the ballots is also compromised in a breach of the law.
 
Thanks, however, to the Electoral Commission and the UK Aid, 250 visually-impaired persons in Ashanti Region are being trained on how to use the tactile jacket ballot.
 
They, in turn, will also train others on the devices.
 
Some visually-impaired persons who attended the training described as an improvement in the country’s election management.
 
President of the Ghana Blind Union in Kumasi Amponsah Takyi is happy members of the union can now exercise their rights secretly.
 
“We were introduced to the tactile voting jacket. You will not miss the person whom you want to vote for. So it has given us direct voting without spoiling even the ballot paper,” he explained.
 
Agnes Osei, a tutor at Jachie Pramso Senior High School in the Bosomtwe district is excited she can now vote independently without any interference.
 
“People may appear to be very kind, be in the same party with you, however, they may vote for you and may vote for their own choice against your will but you wouldn’t know because you cannot see. Therefore, I am highly delighted with the introduction of the tactile jacket,”elated Agnes said.
 
Ashanti Regional Director of the EC, Serebour Quaicoe, is confident the development will reduce the incidence of spoilt and rejected ballots.
 
It will also protect the secrecy of ballots of the visually impaired.
 
“One of the important principles of elections is the secrecy of the ballot. So when previously we were allowing people to cast the votes for people [visually-impaired], it means that they were no more secret. The tactile jacket has been developed which will help the visually-impaired person to cast his vote without anybody’s view or knowledge”.
 
 
 
Source: ghanaweb

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