DIMAPUR, April 6 - Nagaland�s chief electoral officer (CEO), as per the directives of the Election Commission, has prepared Braille dummy ballot sheets for use across the State in the Lok Sabha elections to facilitate visually-challenged voters exercise their franchise.
The facilities will be rolled out in Nagaland for the first time. If utilised fully, it will make the electoral process a truly inclusive and accessible one, the CEO�s media cell said on Saturday.
The dummy ballot sheets printed in Braille will contain serial numbers and names of candidates in the same order in which their names will appear on the balloting unit.
The party affiliation, or Independent will also be printed against the names of the candidates. The option None of The Above (NOTA) will also be printed in the sheet. The name of the constituency will be on top of the dummy ballot sheets.
Each such sheet will be certified by the Commissioner of Disabilities of the State or an official who knows Braille.
Inside the polling station, the visually-challenged voter will be given the dummy ballot sheet in Braille by the presiding officer on his/her request if he/she prefers to use it for helping him/her cast the vote.
After he/she has studied the contents of the ballot sheet, he/she may proceed to the voting compartment to cast the vote. Braille-embedded serial numbers of the candidates will be on the right side of the blue button on the balloting unit.
However, regardless of the new facility being introduced, visually-impaired persons, if he/she so desires, can continue to use the facility of a companion as provided for in Rule 49N of Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961.