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Andhra polling booths to have EVMs with Braille scripts

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
February 19, 2009 14:16 IST
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The names of candidates in Braille script on electronic voting machines to help visually challenged voters and deployment of helicopters to ferry people from remote areas to the polling booths are some of the special features of the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh this year.
 
Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao told reporters on Wednesday that every EVM will have a strip in Braille with the names of the candidates and other details.

"I want every single blind voter to be able to cast his vote on his own, with full confidence and without any help", he said.
 
Rao added that the Election Commission was planning to deploy helicopters to ferry voters from remote areas to the polling booths.

"Voters living in inaccessible areas should not suffer any hardship in reaching the polling stations," he said.

The helicopter facility is likely to be used in the tribal areas of Visakhapatanam and East Godavari where people have to walk for several kilometers to reach their polling booths.
 
The EC has also ordered the transfer of 1,568 officers and employees as part of its measures to ensure free and fair elections in the state. Majority of these officers and employees are from the state police department.

The list includes 13 deputy superintendents and 307 circle inspectors who have completed three years of service in one district. From the Revenue Department, 885 employees including three district collectors and 44 deputy collectors have also been transferred.
 
The EC had rejected the state government's plea that it be exempted from the rules of transfer of officials outside the district -- because large scale movement of employees will affect the administration.
 
The formal order of transfers will be issued on Thursday and the officials will have to take charge by Friday.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
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