Postal Ballot For Voters Above 80, Divyangs: EC Starts Work On Guidelines

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday said it has started working on detailed guidelines to allow those above 80 years of age and people with disabilities to use postal ballot to cast their vote.

The disabled and people over 80 years of age can now cast their vote through postal ballot, the government said on 26 October, in a move that will help increase voter turnout.

The move comes days after the Law Ministry amended Conduct of Election Rules allowing “absentee voters” of essential services, senior citizens of more than 80 years of age and people with disabilities.

Absentee voter refers to a vote cast by someone who is unable to go to the polling station.

Officials said that in both these categories there are people who are unable to reach the polling stations and thus are unable to cast their votes.

“This will enable people from these two categories to cast their votes with ease and will also thus increase the voter turnout,” an official said.

The planned guidelines will include the identification of such voters, the manner of outreach, the methods of the collection as well as voting in the specified centres in each constituency, the Commission said.

The Commission had suggested these changes to the Law Ministry in September this year.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, about 60.14 per cent absentee voters had cast their vote through e-postal ballot while in the 2014 general election, this figure was just 4 per cent.