In a first, Braille EPIC cards issued to visually impaired voters in Karnataka
Karnataka has recently become the first state in the country to issue Braille electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) for visually impaired voters. Come 2019, these cards will be put to use for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019. This was a move to increase participation of visually impaired persons in the elections.
Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, and Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar issued the cards to Basavaraj from Jewargi in Kalaburgi, Irappa Hejagar from Gokak in Belagavi and Vina from Harihar in Davangere district to kickstart the campaign.
The ones who received the new cards were happy that such arrangements were made for them. Meanwhile, the Commission has already announced that it has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations for people with disabilities during the election, said The News Minute.
The Election Commission also plans to introduce all its election-related awareness material in accessible formats for those who are physically challenged. A mobile application too will be launched for persons with disabilities to involve them fully in the election process. On the day of polling, persons with disabilities and their attendants will be able to avail free public transport as well, a Deccan Herald report said.
In the past, the urban booths have noted coordinators who are appointed at Assembly constituency, district, and State level for the purpose of smooth running of elections for people with disabilities.
On July 4, the Election Commission in Delhi launched EPIC in Braille for visually challenged voters, as well. The Commission is also in the process of launching a mobile app that is developed in-house for Presons with Disabilities to facilitate their full participation in the election process.