The visually impaired in Assam will literally feel their right to franchise with their fingers, with the Election Commission arranging for Braille-inscribed electronic voting machines for this year’s Assembly elections.
Earlier, the visually challenged voters used to cast their votes guided by an escort to the press the right button on the EVM. But this time, the voter can directly press the button of his choice on the EVM by identifying the serial number that will be inscribed beside each button. A Braille voter can walk to the machine by himself, unaccompanied by any escort to cast his vote.
A source said the new batch of EVMs manufactured last year, have a number of features that have made them tamperproof and also have Braille inscriptions. The visually impaired voter, however, will have to be told the serial number of the political parties or candidates by the person accompanying him or by the poll personnel at the booth.
Despite this little aid, the new system will make the challenged voters feel more self-sufficient and reduce his dependence on a companion to exercise their franchise.
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