Voting in Ecuador Begins for Disabled and Incarcerated

Ahead of the presidential elections on Feb. 19, those detained and disabled will cast their ballots as is their right under Ecuadorean law.

A program created by the government of President Rafael Correa will see more than 10,000 inmates voting Thursday for the upcoming elections and will continue to assist people with disabilities to cast their ballot for the next president of Ecuador.

Elections are scheduled to be held on Sunday, Feb. 19 to elect the next president, vice president and members of the National Assembly.

According to the National Electoral Council, 10,230 people who are inside penitentiaries without a conviction will be able to vote. This is only possible after an agreement signed in 2013 between the Ministry of Justice and the General Registry.

On Friday, those with disabilities that have requested to vote at home or need assistance to reach voting centers will begin their voting process.

The Electoral Council, the Disability Council and the Federation of Taxi Drivers began this year’s program for home and assisted voting for any Ecuadorean who needs a relative or spouse to help them cast a vote.

After the voting process, the ballot boxes will be sealed and the material will be transferred to the custody of the police so that the votes can be included in the general elections.

Eight candidates will seek the presidency of Ecuador. For one to win in the first round, he or she must earn at least 40 percent of the votes with a difference of 10 percentage points with the person in second place. If no candidate reaches that number, there will be a second round, scheduled for April 2.

Lenin Moreno, one of the candidates in this presidential election is disabled and has been in a wheelchair since being shot in 1998. He served as Correa’s vice president from 2007 to 2013 and has since served as special envoy on disability and accessibility at the United Nations. He worked to improve the conditions of people with disabilities in the country.

 

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