Hundreds of visually-impaired voters at the training centre for the blind in Ogbomoso, Oyo state, have decried the absence of Braille ballot papers in today’s gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections which took place in the 33 local government areas of the state.
The visually-impaired persons, while complaining that the process did not take care of their need to exercise their franchise without any other persons assisting them, added that the process was not convenient for blind people because the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, refused to provide braille ballot papers in the elections.
The blind voters, who received assistance and guidance from others during the accreditation process and casting of votes at unit 13, ward 9, Ogbomoso North local government area, complained that they were not happy that they were not provided with the braille.
One of the visually-impaired identified as Joseph Alabi, said they would have been able to conveniently vote for the party of their choice without aid, if adequate and befitting materials were provided for them.
Alabi said, “They should have provided us with braille.
“They made use of braille in Osun state last year, during the last governorship election.
“So if they give us the same thing in Oyo state here, it will make the voting process easier, and there won’t be need for anyone to hold our thumbs.”
But the spokesman of INEC in the state, Mr. Ayodele Folami, while reacting, said that the absence of braille in the area may be an omission.
Folami, in a short telephone conversation with DAILY POST, said that there is a provision for the braille as he insisted that he has some copies of the braille in his office when our correspondent called him.
He said, “That may be an omission. I would not know, but let me find out from the electoral officers. Let me call them because we even have some copies here.
“That may be an omission. But, I will find out”.