Voting is regarded as a secret process however in case of visually-impaired in Nepal, it has been hardly so. With the second round of local elections just around the corner, many such voters in Jhapa are worried about the violation of their privacy. Despite having the right to vote, such people are not sure if their votes were cast to the candidate of their choice. Though they are allowed to take a companion with them while voting, some feel that they might have been betrayed by the companions. They doubt that their much trusted friends may take advantage of their blindness and vote for candidates of their preference instead of the voter.
Visually-impaired voters have expressed the desire to cast their votes on their own. They have demanded for disable-friendly voting centers and process. But they themselves are doubtful whether their demands will be ever fulfilled.
Prem Karki of Jhapa Rural Municipality-1 wanted to cast vote for Rastriya Prajatantra party (RPP) during the Constituent Assembly elections of 2013. Karki, who is blind by birth, was exercising his voting right for the first time. According to him, he was very much impressed by the agenda of RPP. He had requested one of his relative to accompany him to assist him in casting vote. He instructed his relative to vote for the party of his choice. After voting, he returned home glad and happy.
Full Article: My Republica – Visually-impaired voters concerned of privacy.