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Blind people to vote in 2019 general elections – INEC Boss

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says it will produce ballot papers in Braille to allow blind persons above the age of 18 to vote unaided in the 2019 general elections.

The commission further stated that it was committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities were not disenfranchised in 2019.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, said this during a campus outreach programme on the Continuous Voter Registration at the University of Abuja on Thursday.

While responding to a visually impaired music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, who had urged INEC to assist people living with disabilities to exercise their franchise in accordance with the secret ballot principle so that he would vote unaided.

In his response, the INEC boss noted that the commission had during the Anambra governorship election started with the provision of magnifying glasses for the albinos, promising that wheelchairs would also be provided for crippled persons.

“For the visually impaired, we can provide ballot papers printed in Braille; for the albinos, we have started the use of magnifying glasses in Anambra, and for the other physically challenged people, we will be deploying wheelchairs.”

He told the students at the event that registration centres had been opened on the campus, urging them to avail themselves of the opportunity to participate in the exercise.

The INEC boss said those who registered in 2017 had begun collecting their Permanent Voter Cards.

While fielding questions from the students, the INEC chairman told one of the students who claimed he first voted at the age of 12 that such action was unlawful because only Nigerians from age 18 years and above were qualified to vote.

Yakubu told the students that for now, the law only made provision for transfer if one intended to vote elsewhere other than where he originally registered.

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