ECI Introduces ‘Vote-from-Home’ Option for Citizens Above 85 and PwD with 40% Disability

Electoral Process: In a pioneering move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has introduced the option of ‘vote-from-home’ for citizens above 85 years of age and Persons with Disabilities (PwD) with a 40% disability benchmark. This groundbreaking initiative aims to ensure inclusivity and accessibility in the electoral process.

Inclusive Voting: Breaking Barriers

Amidst the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule, the ECI unveiled comprehensive details regarding the upcoming elections. Led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and newly-appointed Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, this announcement marks a significant milestone in Indian electoral history.

Addressing Unique Challenges

The introduction of ‘vote-from-home’ comes at a crucial juncture, particularly amidst the ongoing crisis of ethnic violence in Manipur. Notably, voters residing in camps will now have the opportunity to exercise their franchise without hindrance.

Ensuring Accessibility

Recognizing the diverse needs of the electorate, the ECI has issued instructions to ensure the accessibility of polling stations. These instructions mandate that all polling stations are situated on the ground floor, with proper ramps provided for the convenience of differently-abled individuals and senior citizens.

Facilitating Seamless Voting

To facilitate a seamless voting experience, the ECI has implemented various measures:

  • Assured Minimum Facilities (AMFs): Polling booths will be equipped with essential amenities such as drinking water, waiting sheds, and adequate lighting.
  • Disability-Specific Arrangements: Special emphasis has been placed on providing targeted facilitation to PwD voters and senior citizens. This includes identifying and tagging individuals to their respective polling stations and providing necessary disability-specific arrangements.
  • Volunteer Assistance: Volunteers appointed by the RO/DEO will assist identified PwD and senior citizens, ensuring they receive priority access to polling booths.
  • Sensitization Initiatives: Polling personnel have undergone sensitization programs to better understand the needs of differently-abled voters.

Ensuring Inclusivity

In a commendable move towards inclusivity, dummy ballot sheets in Braille will be made available at polling stations to assist visually-impaired voters.

Participation Statistics

CEC Rajiv Kumar revealed staggering statistics regarding voter demographics, with 88.4 lakh PwD voters, 88 lakh voters above the age of 85, 48,000 transgenders, and 2.18 lakh centenarians set to participate in the upcoming elections.

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