Assam: Discussion on postal ballot facility for absentee voters held in Dibrugarh



In line with the Election Commission of India’s direction to provide postal ballot facility for absentee voters, a preparatory meeting in Dibrugarh was held on February 12 under the chairmanship of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Dibrugarh, Nandita Baruah.

Dibrugarh Election Officer Hrishikesh Boruah, including representatives of the Divyang Association and Senior Citizens’ Association, also attended the meeting.

As per the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision, the postal ballot facility would be provided to persons with disabilities (PwD), and voters above the age of 80.

Voters who are COVID-19 positive or those under quarantine may also cast their votes through postal ballots - a move that is expected to help increase voter turnout.

The option to vote through postal ballots would also be available to armed forces personnel and those assigned poll duties.

“We will allow the absentee voters to vote through postal ballot this time. Absentee voters include persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and COVID positive/suspects in quarantine (home/institutional). They will have to submit form 12D (letter of intimation to the assistant returning officer for absentee voters) to avail of this facility. Once they fill the form, they would not be able to cast their votes at a polling station,” ADC Nandita Baruah said during the meeting.

She also stated that Booth Level Officers (BLO) would visit the houses of the concerned electors, as per the list provided by the Returning Officer (RO), in the Polling Station area and would deliver the 12-D forms to the concerned electors.

“If an elector is not available, he/she will share the contact details, and the BLO will revisit to collect it within five days of the notification. The elector may or may not opt for a postal ballot in the acknowledgement attached with the form 12-D. If he/she opts for the postal ballot, then the BLO will collect the filled-in form 12-D from the house of the elector within five days of the notification and deposit it with the RO,” Baruah said.

(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)

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