New Delhi, July 16: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday said it won't extend the postal ballot facility to all electors above 65 years of age in Bihar assembly elections and other impending by-polls. The Election Commission cited constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of COVID-19 as reasons for not extending the postal ballot facility for voters above 65 years. Bihar Elections 2020 Likely on Time, EC Firm on Allowing Postal Ballots For Voters Hit by COVID-19.
The age limit for voters to can opt for postal ballot in Lok Sabha and assembly polls had been reduced to 65. However, electors who are above 80 years of age, PwD Voters, the electors engaged in essential services and voters who are COVID-19 positive/suspect in quarantine (home/institutional) can opt for postal ballot in Bihar assembly elections and other by-polls, the Election Commission said.
No Postal Ballot Facility For Voters Above 65 Years in Bihar Assembly Elections And By-Polls:
Commission decides not to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and by elections due in near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of Covid-19 https://t.co/HN31UZ7Pt7
— Sheyphali Sharan (@SpokespersonECI) July 16, 2020
On the recommendation of the ECI, on October 22, 2019, the amendment enabling postal ballot facility to senior citizens (above the age of 80 years) and for persons with a disability, had been introduced to provide them with the choice of voting from the comforts of their homes. Last month, the ECI had requested the Ministry of Law and Justice to extend the postal ballot facilities to all electors above 65 years of age.
It had also recommended the postal ballot facility for all COVID-19-positive electors under home isolation or institutional quarantine to reduce crowding at the polling stations. Subsequently, on July 2 this year, the Ministry of Law and Justice gave its nod for amending the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020, allowing usage of postal ballots by voters aged above 65 or those hit by COVId-19.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 16, 2020 07:17 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).