The Armenian Electoral Experience

A wheelchair user is at the bottom of a ramp into a building
  • The Accomplishment

  • What Worked

  • About the Author

Voters with disabilities have faced barriers to enjoying their right to vote. In many cases, physical barriers in Armenia are associated with the 1988 earthquake and the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan. Additionally, there is growing public stigma that effectively serves to disenfranchise people with disabilities. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Disabled Center for Development of Education and Culture (PAROS), a local coalition of nine disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs), targeted this problem during a voter registration and electoral access project in Armenia and used an informational campaign through Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness of the rights of and enfranchise people with disabilities. The program made the 2006 and 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections the most accessible in Armenian history.