Mohnyin District Makes 140 Polling Stations Accessible to Voters With Disabilities

File photo: Disabled election training at Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State.

Half of the polling stations in Kachin State’s Mohnyin District will be made handicap accessible ahead of Burma’s general election next month, according to the district’s election commission.

The district’s three townships will have 280 polling stations; 140 can accommodate voters with disabilities.

“In some polling stations, there will be one or two disabled people. We will train our polling station officers and staff how to help disabled people when they come to vote at the polling station,” Myo Min Oo, secretary of the Mohnyin District Election Commission, told KNG.

The training for poll workers as well as voters with disabilities will be provided jointly by the government and civil society organizations.

Salang Zung Yaw, chair of one such Kachin State-based organization that offers support to people with disabilities, said that it remains a challenge to provide and get attendees for trainings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government has provided a budget to give trainings for disabled people about how to vote in the election, so we are giving trainings to them. But it is difficult for disabled people to attend a training during the COVID-19 period. We are planning to give a training in Bhamo. We will also give a training in Mohnyin soon,” Salang Zung Yaw told KNG.

He added that this would be the first time this type of training had been delivered to people with disabilities in the region.

According to Zung Yaw, there are 237 people with disabilities in Mohnyin Township, 105 in Mogaung Township and 142 in Hpakant Township.

Mohnyin District has reported a total of 416,705 eligible voters for the 2020 general election on November 8.

In Burma’s last election in 2015, there were 265,191 voters in Mohnyin and 249 polling stations.

Some 89 electoral candidates from 12 political parties are running for election in the district.

Kachin State as a whole is home to 8,000 eligible voters with disabilities, according to the state’s election commission.

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