Margibi County: NEC Completes Training On The Use of Tactile Ballot

Kakata, Margibi County – The National Election Commission (NEC) through its gender section has ended a two-day regional training of trainers’ workshop in Kakata City for people with disability.

Participants were trained to “properly and independently” vote using the tactile ballot guide.

Fifty participants from Margibi, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Bong, Rivercess and Sinoe counties participated in the training.

Counselor Sarah, NEC co-chair, said the tactile ballot guide helps the visually impaired people, elderly and illiterate to vote independently without the help of anyone.

Counselor Toe said NEC was serious about the inclusion of everyone in the electoral process and people who are physically challenged are no exception.

“Rather than looking for the picture of their candidates or the sign of their political party, they can use their fingers to count the numbers to be able to choose their candidate,” she said.

“The tactile ballot guide is not just helpful to people with visual impediment it’s now being able to help the elderly and persons who are unlettered.”

She said the Irish government and the European Union through UNDP is funding the project. During 2005, 2011 and 2014 elections tactile ballot guide was not used.Participants expressed gratitude to the election commission and its partners for “seeing the need to include them in the process,” adding that they are happy that they “would vote independently void of any influence in 2017”.

Participants expressed gratitude to the election commission and its partners for “seeing the need to include them in the process,” adding that they are happy that they “would vote independently void of any influence in 2017”.

Many of them recalled that during 2005, 2011 and 2014 elections tactile ballot guide was not used.

“This will give us pride and independence in the election, many times when we vote people know obviously who we voted because we have to be accompanied by someone who most often misdirects us to wrong against the candidate of our choice,” said a member of the National Union of Organization of the Disabled.

Report By: Emmanuel Degleh