Long lines and missing names on voter’s lists are just some of the usual problems that most normal voters face during elections. Although it is challenging enough for them to travel to their assigned precinct, some PWDs in wheelchairs are even assigned to vote on the upper floors. Given that most public schools only have stairs, voters in wheelchairs would then need assistance to reach their station. Visually impaired voters on the other hand are sometimes left in their voting seats with printed election ballots.
PWDs and the 2016 National Elections
A considerable number of PWDs admitted that they were not able to cast their votes in previous elections because of various difficulties. PWD supporting groups have been urging the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to make voting centres more accessible in the coming 2016 national elections. To make voting easier to PWDs and senior citizens, the COMELEC had announced their plan to hold 2016 national elections in shopping malls. Several shopping malls around Metro Manila today are considered PWD-friendly like Greenhills Shopping Centre and SM Supermalls.
Earlier in November, Megaworld Corporation and Eastwood Mall have prepared a mock-up voting centre located at the ground floor of the mall. COMELEC Chairman Juan Andres Bautista then announced that over 159 malls nationwide will serve as voting centres in the coming 2016 national elections. A public consultation was then held last November 27 where Oscar Taleon, head of Alyansa ng may mga Kapansanan, suggested the COMELEC to properly spread information about where PWDs should vote.
How to Reach your Assigned Voting Center
Now that the search for better precincts is being addressed, PWDs and some senior citizens still have one thing to think about – reaching the assigned voting center. Lifelifters, a specialized transportation system is one easy solution. Their vans are equipped with hydraulic lifts so that PWDs in wheelchair can easily board. The interior is also equipped with safety restraints to prevent the wheelchairs from moving. Lifelifters can also install hydraulic lifts and safety restraints to your Toyota Hiace or Grandia and Hyundai Starex.
Now, more voters can vote and build the country’s future in the coming 2016 Philippine National Elections. ( DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force. )