Multi-Stakeholder Working Group Conducts Polling Station Accessibility Audit in Macedonia
In August 2017, the State Election Commission of Macedonia (SEC), in collaboration with eight civil society organizations, including disabled people’s organizations, the Ministry for Labour and Social Policy, the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), carried out the first nationwide polling station accessibility audit. The working group, which used a modified version of IFES’ polling station accessibility checklist, visited 2,733 polling stations, out of a total of 3,480.
Data on polling station accessibility from the audit has been made available online through an application developed by IFES. This new tool enables voters with disabilities in Macedonia to check their name on the voters list and the accessibility of their assigned polling station at the same time. The questions used by the working group and the information gathered during the audit are now available to all voters. According to Elena Kocoska of Citizen Association Polio Plus a participant in the working group, “The importance of this assessment, for the first time conducted [on a] national scale and in a partnership [with] civil society and institutions, is huge, as it puts in practice Polio Plus [a] value, which is: ‘Unequal Treatment is Equal to Illegal Treatment.’”
"We as a State Election Commission should constantly strive to enable equal opportunities for equal rights. Only by being accountable to the citizens we will have [a] satisfied electorate.”
–Beti Georgievska, IT Department, SEC