Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) will be accorded utmost priority at polling stations and they will have access to entry without waiting in the queue, stated Chief Electoral Officer, Devesh Kumar, here on Sunday.

Polling personnel are briefed about the provisions of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for permitting a companion to accompany a blind/infirm elector.

Kumar said that poll personnel are trained and sensitized regarding the special needs of persons with various disabilities. PwDs can also contact the booth level officer regarding the same if they need assistance.

He said that people with disabilities were to be assured minimum facilities that would be made available at polling booths. Signages, Help Desk, polling booth at ground floor, obstacle-free wide leveled pathway from entrance to voting compartment, ramp as per Government of India (GOI) standards, accessible toilets, drinking water, separate entry and exit, lighting, accessible furniture, Braille ballot guide, adjustable Braille embossed electronic voting machines (for visually impaired), wheelchairs, booth volunteers and display of accessible posters on information pertaining to exercising their franchise are few facilities to be made available.

Online/SMS booking of wheelchairs can also be made prior to the polling day so that this facility is assured to PwDs and reduced mobility at polling booths, he said.

PwD Mobile app, which is specially meant for PwDs to request for voter facilitation, could be downloaded from the Android Google Play store for further information.

Apart from this, to facilitate the women electors, as many as 136 polling stations have also been identified in the State solely for women polling personnel. Besides, five polling stations would be set up for orphanages. These would be set up in Ki in Lahaul-Spiti, Dari in Kangra, Bhangrotu-1 in Mandi, Basantpur in Shimla and at Dharampur in Solan, he added.