No Postal Ballot Facility for Voters Above Age 65 in Bihar Polls, Other ByPolls, says Election Commission

The Election Commission Thursday announced that it would not allow postal ballot facility for voters above 65 years of age citing challenges and constraints to implementing this rule in the upcoming Bihar polls and other elections in the near future. However, the postal ballot rules will be applicable for voters over the age of 80, disabled, or those suffering from novel coronavirus and are either in-home or institutional quarantine. “Commission has already limited the number of electors to one thousand for each polling station for ease of voting, especially for elderly and vulnerable sections of electors, in Covid-19 situations," it said in a press statement. Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the poll body said it has already limited the number of voters to 1,000 in each ballot for ease of voting.


It also said it has created additional 34,000 polling stations, which roughly equals 45% more and will also increase the number of polling stations to 1,06,000. “This would entail formidable logistical challenges of mobilizing 1.8 lakh more polling personnel and other additional resources including the requirement of a much larger number of vehicles in the state of Bihar," the note added. Until late last year, the provision of voting through the postal ballot was available to armed forces personnel and those assigned poll duty. In October, however, the Union government accepted the poll panel’s recommendation and the law ministry made amendments by allowing voters who are 80 years of age and above or those with disabilities to use the postal ballot for voting during parliamentary and assembly elections. The assembly elections to Bihar’s neighboring state, Jharkhand, held in November-December, were the first that saw the provision is implemented.





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