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Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Thursday said that no democracy can ever be meaningful and aspirational, unless it is Inclusive for all citizens, Accessible without fear or favour and Participative despite different social, political, economic vulnerabilities.
The CEC was addressing a virtual meet of the 'Asian Regional Forum' on the theme "Making our Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative" held by the Election Commission.
Rajiv Kumar in his address said that Inclusion must cover all manner of marginalized communities, those marginalized by region, geography, literacy, language, ethnicity, economy, gender, disability among others to ensure their voices are heard and they are able to exercise their voting rights. "Access must be provided to these communities to ensure the entire process of casting a vote becomes easy and comfortable. Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and senior citizens grapple with attitudinal bias, lack of access to information, infrastructural barriers and many more issues," he added.
The CEC exhorted all Election Management Bodies (EMBs) to go in for continuous self-evaluation and strengthening of their systems to meet the rising expectations of citizens and to deal with the emerging challenges during the electoral process.
The CEC said that whenever a new technology is designed or a new service is adopted by the EMB, accessibility should be part of the design itself and not added on later as an afterthought. He extended support to desiring EMBs in designing and strengthening various technological, legal and regulatory architecture.