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Disabled rights NGO’s NEC request is denied

Voters line up to vote at Phnom Penh's Yokunthor High School in 2014.
Voters line up to vote at Phnom Penh's Yokunthor High School in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Disabled rights NGO’s NEC request is denied

The National Election Committee has rejected a request by a disabled rights NGO that they collect information on a person’s disability status during voter registration, a move the organisation had said would have better enabled the body to accommodate them on election day.

Ngin Saorath, director of the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization, confirmed the rejection, but said his NGO will continue to advocate for the change, casting it as a matter of equal access to the polls.

“We believe that one vote by a disabled person is equal to a vote by a normal person,” he said.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said the body couldn’t honour the request as it did not have the server capacity to store extra voter data, explaining that its servers were “full”, and that adding the additional information would create “many difficulties in terms of technical work”.

Puthea went on to note that the existing law does not require the NEC to comply with the request, but maintained that NEC officials assign those with walking difficulties to polling places with ramps during registration, and could also provide Braille ballots if need be.

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