Africa Mar 27, 2017
ABUJA: Persons with disabilities have enjoined the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure their inclusion in the planned continuous voter registration (CVR) process billed to commence in April, 2017.
In a statement jointly issued by David Anyaele and Grace Jerry of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and Inclusive Friends Association (IFA), they noted that the call was premised on the fact that PWDs face major barriers in their quest to participate in Nigeria’s electoral processes.
Acknowledging that there were early signs that the 2019 poll could be better than previous ones, they noted that the challenges related to accessibility of polling units and election materials and the unavailability of data on persons with disabilities, has left them marginalized, underrepresented and excluded from the electoral process.
They maintained that to effectively plan for persons with disabilities, INEC needs to have the data of registered voters that are persons with disabilities disaggregated by type of disability. This, they said will assist INEC know the number of Tactile or Braille ballots to produce and the polling units to distribute them to enable voters with vision disabilities to vote without assistance.
They further stated that the data will assist INEC know the polling units where they must provide sign language interpretation or written instructions to explain Election Day procedures to voters with vision disabilities.