400 Braille Ballot Papers For Visually Impaired Voters Of Odisha’s Padampur
Berhampur: Visually impaired voters in Odisha’s Padampur Assembly constituency in Bargarh district need not worry. A total of 400 ballot papers in Odia Braille have been printed at Odisha’s only Braille Printing Press here for the byelection to be held on December 5.
Pramod Kumar Behera, Deputy Collector (Elections), Ganjam handed over the Odia Braille ballot papers to Akshay Bag, Tahasildar Paikamal, here on Wednesday.
Of the five persons working at the Braille Press, four have proper eyesight. The fifth person, who is visually impaired, did proofreading.
The printed material in Odia Braille was approved by Sisir Kumar Mahapatra, a senior clerk working in Collectorate Ganjam, who is also visually impaired, informed Braille Printing Press manager Prakash Kumar Rath.
“Serial number, name of candidates, name of the political party and NOTA were printed in Odia Braille. It took us two days to manufacture 400 ballot papers and signage in Odia Braille,” added Prakash.
These ballot papers and signage sheets in Odia Braille will be in the custody of presiding officers of each booth. Visually impaired voters will first read the name of their preferred candidate, symbol and serial number from the ballot papers and signage sheets in Odia Braille. They will then move to the EVM to cast their vote by reading the serial number which is on every EVM in Braille.
Earlier, blind voters needed assistance to reach polling booths and exercise their franchise. But now visually challenged voters can vote without anyone’s assistance.
Braille Printing Press here has been manufacturing ballot papers and signage in Odia Braille from 2014.
“We manufactured ballot papers and signage in Odia Braille during the 2014 general election for the visually challenged voters only for Ganjam. But now we are manufacturing these ballot papers and signage in Odia Braille throughout Odisha,” the Press manager said.
Braille Printing Press had provided 300 ballot papers and signage in Odia Braille during Bijepur Assembly bypoll in 2019, 400 ballot papers during Balasore bypoll in 2020, 400 ballot papers during Tirtol bypoll in 2020, 400 ballot papers during Pipili bypoll in 2021, 400 ballot papers during Brajarajnagar bypoll earlier this year and 300 ballot papers during the recent Dhamnagar bypoll.