Sunday, March 3, 2024

Forum for Persons with Disabilities Advocates for Braille Voter Cards

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The Forum for Persons with Disabilities (FFPD) in Mkushi District has called upon the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to introduce Braille voter cards for visually impaired citizens participating in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise. This move aims to empower visually impaired individuals with greater control over the electoral process.

John Kalunga, Chairperson of the Forum for Persons with Disabilities in Mkushi District, emphasized the importance of implementing Braille voter cards and other electoral documents in Braille. He noted that this initiative has long been a crucial aspiration for visually impaired voters. By introducing Braille voter cards, the electoral process can become more inclusive and accessible to all citizens.

Furthermore, Kalunga highlighted the need for the ECZ to create a user-friendly environment for physically challenged individuals during the registration process. He cited concerns about accessibility, particularly for individuals using wheelchairs who may encounter difficulties navigating registration centers with stairs.

In response to these appeals, Lloyd Katongo, Director of Electoral Operations at the ECZ, assured that he would relay these concerns as recommendations to the ECZ Headquarters. Katongo emphasized that the ECZ is committed to ensuring that every citizen, including those with disabilities, has the right to participate in credible elections.

Mkushi District is among the ten districts selected to initiate the Continuous Voter Registration exercise, with Kabwe being the other Central Province district undergoing this process. Since the program’s launch in Kabwe in June 2022, a total of 22,758 new voter registrations have been recorded, reflecting the growing enthusiasm of Zambian citizens to participate in the electoral process.

The calls for Braille voter cards and enhanced accessibility for physically challenged individuals underscore the importance of inclusivity and equal participation in democratic processes, aligning with Zambia’s commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of all its citizens.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The blind are usually escorted by their guides. It’d be better to study where braille voting material has been implemented to learn how it’s done. As for accessibility, the ECZ doesn’t have its own infrastructure. It uses facilities like schools or community halls. It’s important to ensure that all buildings have facilities for the disabled. The biggest hindrance to braille voting material is the level of political immaturity. They might accuse each other of trying to rig using braille

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