A survey conducted by Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE) revealed that 73% of the polling stations for NA-243 (Karachi East) constituency are inaccessible for the people with disabilities.

The report further added that polling station accessibility was one of the objectives of ECP’s five year strategic plan which was to be implemented before July 2018. However, the problem of accessibility for disabled people remained a big issue in General Elections 2018 and is deemed the same for upcoming by-elections.

It was also stated that the maximum number of polling stations also lack basic facilities such as water and sanitation. Proper ventilation and ramps for wheelchairs are also not present. They further added that the building of these stations did not have obstacle free passages as well. According to the international standards the gate of the polling stations should be wide enough to accommodate all the people however an opposite trend has been observed in polling stations at Pakistan.

People with a reduced visibility can also be exposed to a problem due to the issue of low lighting and can impose a problem during counting by the presiding officers.

The organization had contacted the returning officer of NA-243 however despite many efforts; the contact could not be made. ECP was therefore urged to take relevant steps and resolve the issues before the by-elections.

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