Punjab Elections: Postal Ballots for Voters Over 80, Disabled, Covid Patients
In an effort to encourage maximum voter turnout in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has allowed voters aged 80 and over, people with disabilities (over 40%) and HIV-positive patients to vote via postal ballots.
Punjab’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Karuna Raju, during a press briefing on Monday, said of the state’s more than 20 million voters, more than 5 million were over the age of 80 years old, while over 1,34,000 were in the disabled category.
“We encourage voters with disabilities and those who are 80 or older to vote at polling stations. But the ECI also provided a postal voting system in case their medical condition did not allow them to make it to the office, ”he said, adding that people with disabilities (PwD) can also benefit from. a pick-up and drop-off system to reach the voting booths.
Raju said special arrangements, including voting priority, were being made to encourage NRI voters, who had Indian passports. About 150,000 volunteers from the NSS, NCC and Bharat Boy Scouts and Guides were hired to facilitate voters, he added.
Also, to encourage third-sex voters to vote, the ECI coined the slogan “Mahila, Purush Atte Transgender, Loktantar Vich Sab Barabar (women, men and transgender, all are equal in a democracy)”.
The CEO of Punjab also launched 30 mobile vans, equipped with LED and audio system, to educate voters.
A special rough-review campaign is already underway to register eligible voters in various categories, including military voters, people with disabilities, transgender people and young voters.
Regarding the requirement of the security forces in the elections, Raju said that they had received a request from 700 companies from the district chiefs, however, the final requirement will be sent after a review.
He indicated that the state government had allocated a sufficient budget of ??340 crore to conduct the elections.
Deputy Elections Commissioner (DEC) Nitesh Kumar Vyas held a virtual meeting on Saturday with all Deputy Commissioners and District Election Officers (DEO), Police Commissioners and Senior Police Superintendents to review preparations for the ballot in the ‘State.