Electoral rights: DOJF enlightens differently-abled | Sunday Observer

Electoral rights: DOJF enlightens differently-abled

22 May, 2022
Participants at a workshop in Nuwara Eliya
Participants at a workshop in Nuwara Eliya

The Disability Organisations Joint Front (DOJF) has been conducting a series of workshops throughout the island to enlighten differently-abled people of their electoral rights with a focus on accessibility issues faced by marginalised groups including physical accessibility to polling stations, the ability to cast a vote, access to electoral information and targeting electoral information and voter education to meet the needs of marginalised communities.

According to the recent census report, 1.8 million people in Sri Lanka have disabilities and of this 1.2 million are eligible to vote.

The DOJF and its sub-cluster members also plan to address the above issues by identifying the major electoral issues that affect differently-abled persons and other marginalised communities in relation to the electoral process, by coordinating and implementing electoral reform advocacy and lead civil society groups focused on participation and inclusion in elections and take forward electoral reform recommendations towards implementation.

The key stakeholders in relation to electoral reform in Sri Lanka are the Election Commission, Parliament, Parliamentarians and political parties.

Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies, Manjula Gajanayake and Rasanjali Pathirage of DOJF were the resource persons at the workshops in Colombo, Jaffna, Puttalam, Matara and Nuwara Eliya.