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People With Disabilities Can Now Pick Assistants To Help Vote On Elections Day

People With Disabilities Can Now Pick Assistants To Help Vote On  Elections Day
Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.
August 11
10:00 2018

 

A person suffering from disability can now select a registered voter of their choice, to assist them in marking their ballot paper inside a polling station on Election Day. They can also do the same for Pre-Poll.

This was a good news for Lanieta Tuimabau, who is a member of the Election Disability Access Working Group (EDAWG).

“With the announcement today and the provision, it makes me feel more confident and also having that understanding that yes when I am casting my vote it will be a vote that I am confident about voting.

“My guide will also be there to verify and with the Presiding Officer to ensure that my vote is counted and to whoever I want to elect on that day,” she said.

In addition Anaseini Senimoli the Director Operations/Chairperson of EDAWG said that this idea came up when she was working very closely with the disabled people organisation and was having discussions with them on how the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) could improve their services for voters in polling venues.

“One of the requests that we have received through this working group was for voters with disabilities to be able to bring someone of their choice in order to help them cast their vote.

“So for us to be able to come through and provide this service and they have also commended the FEO for taking this step,” she said.

The Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem said FEO has imposed the requirement that a person may only assist up to two persons with disabilities.

“Thereafter, that person is no longer eligible to provide any other assistance to any other voter at the same polling station.”

Mr Saneem had made the announcement about assistance to persons with disability earlier this week.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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