Online Voting for Disabled Can be Tried Out

Joby Mathew almost had to give up because of the inaccessibility of the polling booth to people with disability.

Published: 09th May 2016 04:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2016 04:15 AM   |  A+A-

Online

CHENNAI: When 40-year-old Joby Mathew, an international arm wrestler, wanted to cast his vote for the first time, he almost had to give up because of the inaccessibility of the polling booth to people with disability. But determined to vote, Mathew, who is severely under-developed, exercised his franchise with the help of friends. But still after many years, the voting experience for people with disability in India is the same, particularly in rural areas, says Mathew, who has won 18 gold medals for India at international tournaments.

He was one among the many achievers who shared their experience at the ‘Adding Leaders-Breaking Barriers’, an event organised by Adding Smiles Foundation for the inclusion of the people with disability into mainstream of society and in the election process, on Saturday. Mathew made an appeal to the officials present on the occasion including A Sivagnanam, joint chief electoral officer, T S Krishnamurthy, former chief election commissioner and A R Lakshmanan, former judge of Supreme Court, to introduce postal voting for people with disability.

Krishamurthy said the Election Commission has worked with IITs and examined the online voting options for senior citizens and people with disability as early as 2004 Lok Sabha polls. However, online voting will be a reality in another 10-15 years, he assured. There are concerns but EC has to put in place safeguards for the implementation of online voting. “It can be tried on a small scale perhaps during a by-election. But it is possible only in the urban areas now as it might not be feasible to try this out in rural belts where the illiterate population is large,” Krishnamurthy said.

Again, the law should be amended to include people with disability as eligible candidates to vote through postal voting which needs a policy decision, he said. But for that, EC should find the percentage of people with disability in the country.  The officials highlighted the facilities set up for people with disability in the election process and encouraged those with disabilities to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp