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Initial statement released by HCD on electoral process

2020-11-10

 

 

Preliminary information obtained by the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) from observers in the field as well as from some comments and complaints HCD has received from voters and candidates with disabilities, show that the 23 assigned polling stations are by and large accessible. A sample of those which have been partially renovated are also somewhat accessible. At the same time, some prevalent gaps were evident in the 175 partially accessible polling stations, with some having no accessible bathrooms, sign language interpreters or audio-visual accommodations for example.

 

HCD also documented a story disseminated by some electronic news outlets, indicating some staff members have carried a lady with physical disabilities to the second floor where the polling booth was located – a stark violation to the right of people with disabilities to access and vote independently. The Council also documented some complaints alluding to some voters being registered in inaccessible stations, and being forced to vote in the centres in which they are registered, as was the case in the Aqaba governorate.

 

HCD also noted that some officials also had no knowledge of the accommodations and assistive devices that have been provided to assist voters with disabilities such as the magnifier and audio-visual equipment, with one official even commenting that he does not know why such devices have been installed or provided, and the ways in which they are to be used.