EC urged to make voting accessible for people with vision disabilities
Africa, News, February 24 2015
GHANA: Participants at a District Level Election (DLE) Focus Group Workshop have suggested to the Electoral Commission (EC) to make special Braille ballot papers for people who are blind in the March 3 elections and subsequent elections.
They said this would help them to cast their ballots easily without relying on anybody for assistance to select their choice of candidates during elections.
The participants included traditional leaders, incumbent and aspiring assembly members, faith-based organizations, security personnel, representatives of political parties, people with disabilities, and unit committees.
The workshop held at Kodie, was organized by the Afigya Kwabre District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and supported by the European Union (EU).
The workshop discussed among other issues, the low turnout of voters at the DLEs, ensuring sanity on campaign platforms, peaceful and violence free elections.
It also sought to whip up public interest in participating effectively in the impending DLE.
It also deliberated on how to get more women and people with disabilities to get involved actively by voting and also contesting for positions in the elections.
The participants emphasized the need for the creation of a special fund to support women and people with disabilities who wanted to contest the DLEs but did not have the resources for campaign.
They also encouraged women not to allow complexity, cultural practices, marital status or their social responsibilities deter them from participating in the election, which helped to promote grassroots progress and development.
Mr Samuel Akuamoa Boateng, the NCCE Director of Programs, advised that people should participate keenly in the DLE to enhance the socio-economic development of their areas.
He said there was the need for people to elect people to represent them and also hold them accountable for their stewardship if they wanted to see progress.
Mr. Alhassan Yakubu, the Ashanti Regional NCCE Director, said he did not understand why there was always a low turnout in the DLEs as compared to the general election and advised candidates to campaign hard to change the trend this time around.
He advised candidates of both the assemblies and the unit committees to desist from involving political parties and active politicians in canvassing for votes, saying it was an offense to do so.
Mr. Wilberforce Zangina, the District NCCE Director, appealed to all and sundry to play the roles expected of them to ensure violent free campaigns and a successful and peaceful election.