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SAHRC concerned about how the visually impaired were treated at polls

09 May 2019

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is concerned about how the visually impaired were treated at the polls on Wednesday.

South Africans cast their ballots in the country’s sixth democratic National and Provincial elections.
Commissioner of the SAHRC Bokankatla Malatji says he was observing the process at polling stations in Limpopo, where he saw how disabled individuals were assisted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) during voting.

"First I check accessibility,” explains Malatji, noting that access to voting stations for people using wheelchairs seemed acceptable on voting day.
However, he also checked ballots for voters who are visually impaired.
“There I found a few problems in that the ballot paper was marked in braille, but the voter was not in a position to relate the number on the template to the number on the ballot boxes,” he says.

"Secondly, (where) somebody else had failed to make a mark on behalf of the visually impaired voter, this was of concern to me."
Malatji says the IEC should improve its template for the visually impaired in the next elections.
“As it is, the right to confidentiality is not respected, " Malatji said.

Source: Jacaranda FM

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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