Campaigners bemoan end of tactile voting

From Global development | The Guardian Fri Nov 16 2012, 02:00:02

Disability rights have taken a step back, with Sierra Leone also failing to include deaf and immobile people in election planning

The National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone has scrapped a pioneering tactile voting system for blind and visually impaired people just days ahead of the national elections on Saturday.

Disability rights activists have accused the NEC of denying visually impaired people the right to vote independently and in secret by dropping the tactile system that enabled them to vote unassisted. They say the U-turn makes a mockery of public statements of support for disabled citizens made by presidential candidates and marks a significant step backwards in the progress of disability rights.

The system was piloted in Sierra Leone's regional capitals during the 2002 elections - the first use of a tactile ballot paper in Africa. Designed by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and Action on Disability and Development - and funded by the UK's Department for International Development and its American counterpart, USAid - it was rolled out during the 2007 elections. The introduction of the system was accompanied by a national programme to train people how to use it.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Sierra Leone:   How Will Anti-Ebola Measures Affect Farmers? (news)
Radio France Internationale
20 November 2014

Subsistence and smallholder farmers are being hit hard by measures put in place by the Sierra Leonean government to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Food insecurity is on the rise in the ... [read more]

West Africa:   Ebola 'Shouldn't Have Caught Us Unawares' (interview)
Deutsche Welle
20 November 2014

Ebola has badly shattered parts of West Africa, exposing lethal weaknesses in health services and disease surveillance. It also raises broader questions about African governance and human resources. [read more]

Sierra Leone:   China-Donated Bio-Safety Lab Breaks Ground in Sierra Leone (news)
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
21 November 2014

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday ceremonially broke ground on a China-donated permanent fixed bio-safety level III laboratory aimed to test bacterial and other fungal diseases in ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!