11-11-29 -- LOME , TOGO -- Komivi Ayassou, of FETAPH, (Togo Federation of Associations of Persons with Disabilities) reads a Braille version of the WHO/World Bank Report on Disability in Togo on Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Photo by Daniel Hayduk
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Rwanda to introduce braille voting papers

The visually impaired in Rwanda will vote for the first time on their own in this year’s Presidential elections in the East African country according to Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission, reports the New Times.

The National Electoral Commission has introduced braille voting papers to enable the blind to vote their own as compared to past practice of being assisted by others, which means they have to reveal their preferred candidates.

“As we update the voters’ register, we are also trying to add the list of visually impaired persons who can read and use braille in voting. By July the list will be available together with printed braille polls sheets to be used,” said Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission told Sunday Times

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Rwanda is set to hold Presidential elections on the 4th of August this year. Over 6.6 million Rwandans are expected to vote in the forthcoming elections. Rwandans in the diaspora will vote a day before that is on the 3rd of August.

“We expect that between 50,000 and 100,000 could vote. This additional component of those to use braille will not affect the existing budget set aside for polls activities”, Said Munyaneza, on those expected to vote by braille

Braille is a form of written language for blind people, in which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots that are felt with fingertips.

Rwanda’s National Council for Persons (NCPD) with Disabilities tested the system this year while voting members of NCPD council and was successful.

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