those above the age of 65 as well as those under home or institutional quarantine to vote using postal ballots he Election Commission has announced that it will allow during the Bihar elections. A restricted set of voters can exercise postal voting. Through this facility, a voter can cast her vote remotely by recording her preference on the ballot paper and sending it back to the election officer before counting.
More About the New Rules
- Members of the armed forces like the Army, Navy and Air Force, members of the armed police force of a state (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their spouses are entitled to vote only by post. In other words, they can’t vote in person.
- Voters under preventive detention can also vote only by post.
- Special voters such as the President of India, Vice President, Governors, Union Cabinet ministers, Speaker of the House and government officers on poll duty have the option to vote by post. But they have to apply through a prescribed form to avail this facility.
- Recently, the Law Ministry, at the Election Commission’s behest, introduced a new category of absentee voters, who can now also opt for postal voting. These are voters employed in essential services and unable to cast their vote due to their service conditions.
- Currently, officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Northern Railway (Passenger and Freight) Services and media persons are notified as absentee voters.
Working of Postal Ballot
- The Returning Officer is supposed to print ballot papers within 24 hours of the last date of nomination withdrawal and dispatch them within a day. This is done so that the ballot papers reach the concerned voter well before the polling date and she has enough time to send it back before the counting day.
- Postal ballot papers for members of the Armed Forces are sent through their record offices.
- For members of the armed police force of a state (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their spouses, the ballot paper can be sent through post or electronically.
- For remaining categories ballot papers can be delivered personally or through post.
- After receiving it, the voter can mark her preference with a tick mark or cross mark against the candidate’s name.
- They also have to fill up a duly attested declaration to the effect that they have marked the ballot paper.
- The ballot paper and the declaration are then placed in a sealed cover and sent back to the Returning Officer before the time fixed for the commencement of counting of votes.