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Braille-enabled signboards to be used during Maheshtala bypoll

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It will be used for the first time in West Bengal; by-election today

For the first time in West Bengal, the Election Commission (EC) will use Braille-enabled signboards carrying instructions for visually challenged voters. It will be introduced at all the polling stations in the Maheshtala Assembly by-election on Monday.

“The decision to use Braille-enabled signboards is a State-specific measure and will be used for the first time in West Bengal to ensure hassle-free polling experience for visually impaired voters,” a senior EC official told The Hindu. He also said that the initiative was part of the drive to make elections more accessible to persons with disabilities (PWD).

The Braille-enabled signboards will be put up at the entrance of all the 283 polling stations in the Maheshtala Assembly constituency in South 24 Paraganas district. Apart from the conventionally displayed instructions for voters on how to use the electronic voting machine and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, the signboards will also display such instructions in Braille.

The official also said that the EC held consultations with officials of the State government departments such as Women, Child and Social Welfare, Youth Services and Sports to frame strategies on how to involve physically challenged voters in the polling process.

Nearly 2.48 lakh voters will cast their votes in the Maheshtala Assembly by-election at 283 polling stations in 111 locations in the constituency. Several companies of Central forces have been deployed for the bypoll.

Three-way contest

The bypoll will witness a three-way contest between the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Congress has not fielded any candidate due to an informal understanding with the Left Front. The result will be declared on May 31.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 3:41:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/braille-enabled-signboards-to-be-used-during-maheshtala-bypoll/article24008698.ece

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