Lok Sabha polls 2019: Over 3 lakh differently-abled people to vote in Maharashtra

Mumbai: A total of 3,09,233 differently-abled voters have registered themselves for the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra which will be held in four phases beginning April 11, an election official has said. The official from the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that additional facilities will be provided to such voters for exercising their franchise.

Of the 3,09, 233 differently-abled voters, 51,605 electors are visually disabled and have low vision, while 35887 voters are hearing and speech impaired, he said, adding that 1,61,920 voters have Osteogenesis while 59,821 voters are physically disabled.

“Ramps, wheel chairs and volunteer facilities are provided for differently-abled voters at the polling booths. Visually disabled and physically handicapped voters are permitted to take a companion along with them,” the official said. He said a Braille script facility is provided on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the visually disabled and low vision voters.

The official said the Election Commission has kept the target of “Accessible Elections” with the objective of increasing differently abled voters in the voting. A large number of differently-abled voters have been registered for the Lok Sabha polls with the cooperation of the Differently-abled Welfare Commissionarate and Non Governmental Organisations, he said.

Some of the facilities and amenities given at polling booths include an arrangement for voter assistance centres, first aid facilities, drinking water and toilets at booths, information Notice Board for the guidance of voters, free conveyance for handicapped voters at polling booths, specially assisted polling booth for differently-abled in selected schools and Identity Card for visually-disabled voters in Braille script. Elections for all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra will be held on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.

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