From Christian Agadibe, Aloysius Attah, Obinna Odogwu and David Onwuchekwa
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said it would provide brailed ballot papers for visually impaired voters in the Nov. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Dr Nwachuku Orji, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra, stated this during a voter sensitisation programme for visually impaired person on Sunday, in Awka.
The programme was tagged: “Understanding the Braille Ballot Guide.”
Orji, represented by INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, Mr Samuel Nimem, said the commission was committed to ensuring an all-inclusive election where no one would be left out.
“This programme is to ensure that the visually impaired voters who can read braille language will be able to make informed decisions as to their preferred candidates on the election day.
“With the brailed ballot, visually impaired persons do not need a guide to interpret or help them to thumb print, which has been the challenge in the past.
“Hence, their votes will count because they will be able to vote for the candidates of their choice and not to depend on someone else,” he said.
Orji urged persons with disabilities, especially the visually impaired to participate actively in the governorship election.
In his remarks, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Anambra chapter, commended INEC for factoring the visually impaired into the election process.
He said, “this has been one of the challenges we complained about that our members, especially the visually impaired find it difficult to vote because the ballot papers are not brailed.
“We are happy the problem has been resolved and we want to assure INEC that the investment in this area will not be in vain.”
Describing the election as crucial to persons with disabilities, Okeke appealed to PWDs to come out en-mass to vote for their preferred candidate.