Bihar polls: Over 52k eligible voters opt for postal ballots in 71 constituencies
13 October, 2020 | Ojasvi Chauhan
In the upcoming Bihar elections, over 52,000 voters belonging to Senior Citizen (above 80 years of age) and PwD (Persons with Disabilities) categories have opted to exercise the facility to vote th...
More than 52,000 voters belonging to Senior Citizen (above 80 years of age) and PwD (Persons with Disabilities) categories have opted to exercise the facility to vote through postal ballots in the forthcoming phase 1 of General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar 2020, the Election Commission said on Monday.
The EC said that those electors would be provided postal ballots on a pre-informed date(s) by the Returning Officers with proper security and videography arrangements to ensure secrecy, safety, and transparency in the process. The EC said that it was the first time that postal ballot facility was being extended to both the categories in Bihar elections.
Booth Level Officers of 71 Assembly Constituencies in Bihar have reached out to more than four lakh such electors. Remaining voters intend to visit the booth on the poll day for voting. General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar 2020 were announced on September 25. In the first phase elections, polling in 71 ACs spread over 16 districts of Bihar, is to be held on October 28.
Earlier, during Commission’s visit to Bihar from September 29 – October 01, 2020, attention was drawn to certain concerns regarding the implementation of this provision for the above categories of voters, the poll body said.
To comprehensively address these concerns, on October 3, 2020, Commission had directed: “BLO will visit to the houses of the concerned electors, as provided by the RO, in the Polling Station area and deliver Form- 12-D to the concerned electors. If an elector is not available, he/she will share his/her contact details and revisit to collect it within five days of the notification.”
“The elector may or may not opt for postal ballot in the acknowledgement attached with the Form 12-D. If he/she opts for postal ballot, then the BLO will collect the filled-in Form 12-D from the house of the elector within five days of the notification and deposit it with the RO forthwith. BLO shall deposit all the acknowledgement forms with the RO along with all Form 12-D. Sector Officer shall supervise it under the overall supervision of RO.”
In subsequent two phases of elections in Bihar and in bye-elections in all other States, this exercise will continue so that electoral process becomes more accessible, inclusive and SAFE for these categories during the period of COVID-19. BLOs will visit approximately 12 lakh such electors’ homes in Bihar in the next two phases for this purpose, the press statement added.