Representative from the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, the Association of Youth with Disabilities and the Union of the Blind of Montenegro worked together to produce guidelines for municipal electoral commissions on improving accessibility of polling stations.
In advance of the 9 May elections in Herceg Novi, the representatives met with the municipal electoral commission, presented the guidelines and discussed ways to improve accessibility.
“Over 90 per cent of polling stations are accessible for people with disabilities, they have a tactile voting device that attaches to a ballot that enables visually impaired voters to vote in secret,” said Mirjana Ivanović, Chair of the Herceg Novi municipal electoral commission.
“Accessibility is more than getting in and out of the polling station. We hope that this guidance will help municipal electoral commissions to ensure that polling stations are accessible to everyone,’’ said Marina Vujačić, executive director of Association of Youth with Disabilities.
“'Ensuring independent voting and secrecy of the ballot for voters with disabilities makes for their full and effective participation in public life on an equal basis,” said Katarina Bigović, independent advisor in the Union of the Blind.
The Mission also donated personal protective equipment for the polling station staff.
The Mission will continue to work alongside election management bodies and NGOs to ensure that polling stations are accessible and election management bodies are aware of options available to people with disabilities on how to cast their vote independently and in secret.