IFES has been awarded a grant from the Finland Ministry for Foreign Affairs to design and pilot test a ballot in Ghana that will enable blind voters to vote secretly and independently. As in most developing nations, Ghanaian voters who are blind rely on assistants to help them vote. The ballot to be pilot tested will not use Braille, but will rely on tactile cues, as less than once percent of blind adults in Ghana are literate. The ballot will be tested in elections in June or July of 2002, and will be designed in collaboration with the Ghana Electoral Commission, the Ghana Federation of the Disability Associations, and Action on Disability and Development of Ghana.
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IFES provides technical assistance in the promotion of democracy worldwide and serves as a clearinghouse for information about democratic development and elections. Since its inception in 1987, the Foundation has promoted democratic initiatives in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit the IFES web site at www.ifes.org.