Postal Ballot Voting for COVID Positives and Suspects: EC

Md Mahafujur Rahaman

5th March 2021

In wake of the fears of the second wave of the COVID 19 pandemic and the prevailing protocols, the COVID Positive patients and those suspected of the infection will be voting through postal ballot during the ensuing election to the five states. This was informed in a press note released by Election Commission on Wednesday following the briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers who will be deployed in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

The postal ballot provision has also been extended to people aged above 80 and also those who are physically disabled. Vaccination of poll personnel and other frontline functionaries will also be ensured stringently.

More than 1650 observers including officers from IAS, IPS, IRS and other Central Services physically and virtually attended the meeting.The 2021 election schedule was declared by EC on 26th February.

While mentioning the importance of the observers the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. Sunil Arora recalled his association with 14 state Assembly elections since September 2017 and also 2019 LokSabha General Election. “Observers should be visible and accessible to citizens and enable them to vote fearlessly”, he remarked. He has warned that ECI would act swiftly, ruthlessly and does not tolerate lax in performing duties.

Election Commissioner Mr. Sushil Chandra pointed out that more than 18 crore voters would be catered over 80000 polling stations to ease social distancing. He emphasized that proper directions should percolate to Field-Level officers through the observers with regard to incumbent free election.

Election Commissioner Mr. Rajiv Kumar pointed at the significance of the reports of the observers to the ECI which enables the latter to take decisions whenever need. The conduct of the observers in the public assumes importance as they may be under the scanners of people, media and political entities.

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