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Jakarta Post

Over 21,000 disabled people in South Sulawesi secure voting rights

  • Andi Hajramurni

    The Jakarta Post

Makassar, South Sulawesi   /   Wed, June 27, 2018   /   09:29 am
Over 21,000 disabled people in South Sulawesi secure voting rights All set: A volunteer shows a ballot to be used in the 2018 Makassar mayoral election that will take place on June 27. (Antara/Darwin Fatir)

As many as 21,569 people with disabilities have been registered as voters in the South Sulawesi gubernatorial election and 12 regental and mayoral elections that will be held simultaneously on Wednesday.

The South Sulawesi General Elections Commission (KPU South Sulawesi) prepared tools to help disabled people exercise their voting rights. They include tactile ballots that are specially designed for blind voters.

KPU South Sulawesi head Misna M. Attas said 17,140 polling stations had been erected for the simultaneous elections in the province. “At every polling station, we have prepared tactile ballots for the disabled,” she said on Tuesday.

Rahman, the chairman of the Indonesian Disability Movement for Equality (PerDIK) South Sulawesi, said it was the responsibility of the KPU to accommodate the disabled at all polling stations, as mandated by the law.

“Ballots are not only for the disabled. They can be used by the elderly and illiterate voters. It has been mandated that there should be supporting tools for the disabled, especially blind voters,” said Rahman.

He deplored that several polling stations in Makassar were located in areas that were not easy to access by those with disabilities.

“In my neighborhood, for example, the polling station where I will cast my ballot is quite far from my house."

Despite the difficulties, Rahman said, he and other disabled voters were ready to exercise their right to vote in the South Sulawesi elections taking place in 12 regions in the province. (ebf)