The Election Commission of India on Monday issued a notification allowing the persons deployed in essential services and media to cast their votes through postal ballots in the forthcoming Assembly elections in five states.
According to the notification, the personnel employed in Information and Public Relation Department, Health and Family Welfare Department including emergency and ambulance services, Postal and Traffic departments, Railway, Electricity, Civil Aviation Departments, Metro Rail Corporation of Uttar Pradesh, Doordarshan, All India Radio and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited are eligible to exercise their franchise using postal ballots as 'Absentee Voters' in the Assembly elections of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
The EC, in a separate notification to the poll-bound states under Section 60(c) of the RP Act, 1951 for the purpose of voting through postal ballot for Absentee voters in the category of persons employed in essential services-regarding said that 'the notification issued on January 14, needs to be published in the State Gazette immediately and a copy of the same may also be forwarded to the Commission'.
Directing the Chief Electoral Officers of all the five poll-bound states, the Commission said that the concerned departments of the notified category of electors may be informed accordingly, and may be asked to nominate "Nodal Officer" for this purpose of the postal ballot facility.
"The Nodal Officer may be briefed about the facility and responsibilities and duties to be carried out by him/her. Copies of Form 12D appended to the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 may be made available to the Nodal Officer and the Nodal Officer should inform the electors concerned about the facility," the EC stated in the notification
The Commission also issued detailed guidelines for this purpose.