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Edo 2020: INEC to provide braille ballots for visually-challenged voters

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a bespectacled man on African Attire speaking through multiple microphones and addressing the press
close up of Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday said it would provide braille ballots to guide visually challenged persons for Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.

Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of INEC, said this in Benin City during an expanded stakeholders’ meeting organised by the commission.

The meeting had in attendance the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, chairpersons of the 14 participating political parties in the election and their candidates, civil society organisations, among others.

Mr Yakubu said the commission would be deploying magnifying glasses and braille ballot guides to assist persons who need it so as to vote unaided.

“As in previous elections, the Commission is deploying magnifying glasses and braille ballot guides to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to vote unaided. Earlier, the commission translated and published its policy of conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Voters’ Code of Conduct into braille to ensure greater awareness and effective participation of all citizens in the electoral process irrespective of disability,” Mr Yakubu said.

He assured the people of Edo that their votes would count in the September 19 governorship election, adding that it is the people’s choice that would determine the outcome of the election.

According to Mr Yakubu, electoral violators will face the consequences of their actions if caught during the governorship election.

Mr Yakubu, who promised that the election would be credible, free, and fair, however listed some of the infractions to include vote-buying, multiple voting, hijacking, and diversion of election materials as well as ballot-box snatching and stuffing, among others.

“Edo people must be allowed to freely vote for their preferred candidate without inducement or harassment. We have been assured by the security agencies that thugs and their sponsors will not have the freedom to move around freely to disrupt the election or collation of results,” he said.

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