In order to ensure the electoral rights of citizens with disabilities, amendments and additions were made to the Constitutional Act on elections in Kazakhstan on 29 June 2018 for the first time in electoral practice.
In particular, the following rules are envisaged:
- Article 18 (paragraph 4-1) provides that precinct election commissions shall take necessary measures for realization of election rights of citizens with limited opportunities;
- Article 39 (paragraph 1-1) provides that when equipping the voting premises, the conditions for unhindered access to and voting in the voting premises of citizens with limited capacities must be provided;
- Article 48 (paragraph 2-1) provides that local executive bodies are obliged to assist electoral commissions in their work to ensure electoral rights of citizens with limited opportunities.
During this period of the campaign, we focused on the right to be elected and selected several key parameters that were included:
Despite the amendments made to the Decree No. 21/183 of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated October 23, 2012 "On Approval of the Instruction on equipping the voting room at the polling station, the voting point", where a new chapter was introduced: "Features of equipping the voting room for citizens with disabilities".
From 2019 onwards, the following conditions should apply to all polling stations:
The participation of observers in the 2019 elections affected the openness and fairness of the elections, as well as the timely prevention of violations at polling stations and voter education.
Moreover, we can see that in the elections held in 2019, significant progress was made in complying with the guidelines and rules of the electoral law, especially in preparing polling stations for voting by all citizens, including people with disabilities.
Much work remains to be done to make polling stations accessible to people with disabilities, ensuring full self-reliance.
Recommendations for the Central Election Commission and state bodies: