Special ballot papers for blind in Himachal Pradesh

April 26th, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, April 26 (IANS) The Election Commission has made provisions for special ballot papers that can be read by touch for blind electors who are not conversant in Braille, a senior Himachal Pradesh poll official said here Sunday.
“Out of 1,070 visually impaired electors in Himachal Pradesh, only 27 are Braille-conversant voters,” state Chief Electoral Officer Anil Khachi told IANS.

“So we have special stickers and ballot papers that can be read by touch,” he said.

The commission has set up 7,251 polling stations in the state to enable 4,604,832 voters to exercise their franchise through 11,000 electronic voting machines (EVMs), the official said.

“The state has 697 hypersensitive and 1,263 sensitive stations,” Khachi said.

“Kinnaur district, adjoining China, has the highest number of 36 hypersensitive polling stations, while the Chamba assembly segment has the maximum number of 55 polling stations,” he said.

More than 15,000 police and paramilitary personnel would be deployed in the state on the poll day, he said.

“Polling material has reached almost all the polling stations, including those located in three assembly constituencies of Lahaul and Spiti, Bharmaur and Kinnaur.

“The polling exercise is a difficult task in these tribal constituencies as one-third of the booths are located at altitudes above 13,000 feet,” said Khachi.

Polling for the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh - Shimla, Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur - is scheduled for May 13.

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