A situation election report of the National Director of the Organization for the Social Integration of the Deaf in Liberia (OSILD) claims that over 1,955 deaf living in seven counties here did not vote during the October 10, 2017 presidential and representatives elections.
The report dated 21 October under the signature of OSILD National Director Mr. Adrian Sandi names Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Bong and Nimba counties as areas where the Deaf in question did not vote.
It says 375 are from Montserrado, 450 from Grand Bassa, 300 from Nimba, 50 from Grand Cape Mount, 300 from Gbarpolu, 40 from Bomi, and 450 from Bong Counties, respectively.
The group also discloses that these figures of deaf who did not vote were documented by OSILD’s county coordinators who closely followed the electoral process at voting precincts.
According to Mr. Sandi, in some of the counties, deaf people could not vote because there was nobody to communicate to them through sign language.
As a result, the organization calls on NEC to work with OSILD to enable train some of the election staff either at its Police Academy head office in Paynesville, or at the premises of the NEC to ensure that deaf and persons with disabilities are not denied their fundamental rights to vote in the run-off election slated for 7 November.
OSILD concludes that deaf people don’t know the differences between the Tata ballot and that of the regular ballots which poses serious challenge to their full participation in the voting process.
By Emmanuel Mondaye-Edited by Winston W. Parley