No postal ballot for those above 65
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Polity – Elections
- The EC had earlier recommended extending the postal ballot facility to electors over 65 years as the age group had been termed most vulnerable to COVID-19.
- The Law Ministry also notified the change to the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 on June 19, extending the facility to electors above 65 years, as opposed to the existing provision for above 80 years.
- However, on July 16, the EC announced that it would not be extending the facility to electors of age 65 and above due to logistical, staff and safety protocol related constraints.
- Postal voting is voting in an election where ballot papers are distributed to electors (and typically returned) by post, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station via an electronic voting system (EVM).
- Through postal ballot facility, a voter can cast his/her vote remotely by recording his/her preference on the ballot paper and sends it back to the election officer before counting.
- When the counting of votes commences, these postal votes are counted first before the counting of votes from the EVMs of all other voters.
Who can avail postal ballot facility?
Only certain categories of people are eligible to register as postal voters.
- 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.
- Voters under preventive detention can also vote only by post.
Do you know?
- 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 a new category of ‘absentee voters’ were introduced 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.