Election Commission of India’s Initiatives for Accessible Voting

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched several initiatives to ensure accessible voting for all citizens, with a special focus on elderly voters and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The ECI’s motto, “no voter is left behind,” underscores its commitment to inclusive and accessible elections.

Voting from Home for Elderly and PwDs

The ECI has announced that voters above 85 years of age and PwDs with a 40 percent benchmark disability can vote from home. This initiative aims to make the voting process more convenient and accessible for these groups of voters, who may face difficulties in reaching polling stations.

Volunteers and Wheelchairs at Polling Stations

To further facilitate accessible voting, the ECI has mandated the availability of volunteers and wheelchairs at every polling station. These volunteers will assist elderly voters and PwDs in navigating the polling station and casting their votes. The provision of wheelchairs ensures that voters with mobility issues can exercise their right to vote without hindrance.

Transport Facilities for PwDs and Elderly

The ECI is arranging transport facilities for PwDs and elderly voters to help them reach polling stations. This initiative aims to remove barriers to voting that may arise due to lack of transportation or mobility issues.

Saksham App for PwDs

The ECI has launched the Saksham App to facilitate easier voting for PwDs and to help them avail facilities at polling stations. The app provides information on accessible polling stations, available facilities, and assistance for PwDs.

Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in Schools

The ECI is pushing for permanent Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in schools as a gift of the election process to students. AMF includes drinking water, toilets, signage, ramps or wheelchairs, helpdesks, voter facilitation centres, sufficient light, and sheds. This initiative not only benefits students but also makes schools more accessible for voters during elections.

Polling Stations Managed by PwDs and Women

The ECI has introduced polling stations managed exclusively by PwDs and women. These polling stations serve as models for inclusive and accessible voting, encouraging the participation of marginalized groups in the electoral process.

Model Polling Stations have been set up by the ECI to showcase best practices in accessible and inclusive voting. These polling stations feature state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to ensure a smooth and hassle-free voting experience for all voters.

Know Your Candidate (KYC) App

In addition to accessible voting initiatives, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched the Know Your Candidate (KYC) app to enable voters to access information about candidates’ criminal records, assets, and liabilities. This app promotes transparency and helps voters make informed decisions when casting their ballots.

Important Facts for Exams

  • The Saksham App has been developed in collaboration with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
  • The ECI has also introduced Braille ballot papers and Braille voter identity cards to assist visually impaired voters.
  • In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the ECI set up over 7,000 model polling stations across the country.



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