Recommended Reading for September 20, 2010

Today’s Recommended Reading focuses on Voting.

See image description below
s.e.'s absentee ballot from the 8 June 2010 statewide primary in California, sealed in its envelope and addressed to the registrar of voters. The ballot stub and an 'I voted' sticker are positioned on top of the envelope.

Canada: Blind voter lashes out over mail-in ballots

A blind voter has lashed out at politicians who chose mail-in ballots for an Oct. 25 Ontario city’s municipal election.

Geof Collis said he is “appalled” by the decision in Kawartha Lakes, in southeastern Ontario, which he says has “effectively discriminated against me and others, ensuring that my right to vote is neither private nor independent.

Faced with a mail-in ballot, he say: “How would it be possible to vote if you were blind without help from someone in one form or another?”

Canada: Voter access improved: city

Pauline Baker has always found it hard to vote for St. Catharines politicians.

No, she’s not particularly cynical about local politics.

The 68-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis and needs a scooter to get around, just has trouble getting into her local polling station.

“It’s not very accessible and it has been bugging me forever,” said Baker, who was left fuming outside a locked door at Prince Philip School during a previous election.

A wheelchair ramp led to the school’s side entrance, but safety rules prevented that door from being left open, even on election day. (A passing teacher eventually let Baker in.)

Tanzania: Disabled Persons Sidelined In Elections

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a two-day workshop last week to sensitize and educate people with disabilities on the forthcoming General Elections.

The workshop, which attracted about 100 special needs representatives from all regions in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, mainly dwelt on the Rights, Responsibilities and Roles of Voters in the country’s fourth multiparty election.

The UNDP election support project manager, Mr Oskar Lehner, said the government was duty bound to ensure special needs voters were equally involved in the entire election process.

Tanzania: Disabled Spell Out Their Reasons For Polls Apathy

Disabled people in Mwanza Region say they have not participated in this year’s General Election by contesting in various posts because of being stigmatized.

They made the remarks recently through the Nyamagana district chairman of the Tanzania Society for the Disabled, Mr Anthony Chacha.

Speaking to The Citizen after receiving five wheelchairs and
as many tricycles from the Mwanza City Council director, Mr Wilson Kabwe, he said the Tanzania society does not yet have confidence with disabled peoples’ ability to lead.