NEW DELHI: For the state assembly elections of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Election Commission has taken various initiatives to enhance the quality of voting experience for the esteemed electors, more particularly the special categories of voters in terms of ease, comfort and facilitation.
Some of the significant initiatives being taken by the Commission for the elections are highlighted below:
• The Commission has directed to identify the localities predominantly inhabited by weaker sections and locate polling stations in these localities irrespective of the number of electors so that the weaker section electors would not have to go to an area where they might be prevented from voting.
• In case of a leprosy sanatorium being located within the constituency, a separate polling station is to be set up exclusively for the inmates. The Officers, medical and others are working in the sanatorium to be appointed as Presiding and polling Officers of the polling station for voters suffering from leprosy.
• In certain areas where women folk feel inhibited in mingling with male members due to social practice or custom, in those areas separate polling station for men and women with separate queues for either gender would be provided.
• In areas where there are large numbers of ‘pardanashin’ women electors are assigned to a polling station, a lady officer would be appointed as polling officer for identification and application of indelible ink.
• Special arrangements/ facilities/ facilitation for old/ infirm persons/ pregnant women at the polling stations.
• Facility to the differently-abled electors in the form of giving priorities for entering the polling stations, without having to wait in the queue for other electors. Facilities in the form of wheelchairs inside the polling stations, temporary ramps where permanent ramps are not provided. Electors with speech and hearing impairment would be given special care as is done in the case of other differently abled persons. Further use of signage, parking spaces, adequate space in polling booths etc to be ensured for the differently abled.
Through all these facilitation measures, the Election Commission ensures inclusive participation by providing each and every elector an opportunity to cast his vote in a free, fair and conducive environment.