Persons with disabilities will not be made to join long queues at the various polling stations across the country during this year’s December 7 general elections, the Electoral Commission has revealed.
The Commission says a special desk will be set up for persons with disabilities at the various polling stations for them to cast their votes in turns without any difficulty.
“People with disabilities are no longer going to join the queues. There will be a special bench for them, and with the aid of the presiding officer, they will be voting in turns,” Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, said on Wednesday.
Speaking on GTV’s Ask The EC programme, Mr Dzakpasu allayed the fears of persons with disabilities that they will face difficulties in casting their vote, noting preferential treatment will be given to them when they show up at the polling stations.
He said tactile ballots will be made available for the visually impaired, noting “as we speak, we have a disability desk engaging the blind in the use of the tactile ballots.
For the hearing impaired, he said some people are being trained in sign language who will be at all polling stations to direct those with hearing problems.
“Now we have a data of the hearing impaired across this country and where they are very much concentrated. We are in the process of training sign language operators to be at every polling station to direct the hearing impaired if they lose their way and to notify them of any impending danger, in the course of voting in the elections”, he said.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, Supt. Cephas Arthur said personnel have been trained to handle persons with disabilities especially in the event of disturbances on election day.
He said in case of any riot at any polling stations, Police personnel will for the pgisically challenged first “and ensure that we provide an avenue for them to survive whatever is happening there before we help those who are capable of helping themselves.
“Our security arrangement is all encompassing. A lot of training arrangements have been lined up to give the requisite skills and knowledge to the personnel who will be going out to provide security,” he assured.
By Shirley Ewurama Smith|3FM|3news.com|Ghana