The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has said that ballot papers will not be printed in braille for the visually impaired voters ahead of the August polls.
Chebukati stated that visually impaired voters will also not have the option of voting independently.
The electoral boss noting that they will be assisted by trained IEBC personnel who will man polling stations across the country during the General Election.
“In this coming election we are not going to have braille material in the form of ballot papers. As a commission we have actually moved a step ahead like we have voter education material in braille,” Chebukatis said.
According to Chebukati, despite the commission’s efforts to make the polls more inclusive for persons with disabilities, braille ballot papers will not be available since they were not factored into the election’s budget.
“We would like to introduce braille ballot papers in future elections, but we did not have a budget for that this time. We shall factor it in our budget and in future elections we shall ensure that we have braille material especially ballot papers, if we will still be using them.”
In previous elections, visually impaired persons were allowed to vote via an assistant who was obligated to take an oath of secrecy prior to the exercise.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that out of the 39 million people living with blindness globally, 224,000 are Kenyans.
Chebukati was making the remarks during a press conference on Saturday.