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New rules for postal ballot

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

New rules for postal ballot:


Context:

EC announces new rules for postal ballot.

  • The rules aim to make it more convenient for those above 80 years of age and people with disabilities to vote.

New rules announced:

  • The returning officer would deploy polling teams, which will deliver and collect the postal ballot on pre-informed dates and then deposit it with the returning officer.
  • The form required to opt for the postal ballot would be delivered at the residence of all those aged above 80 and people with disabilities by the booth level officer under his polling station.

What is postal voting?

A restricted set of voters can exercise postal voting. Through this facility, a voter can cast her vote remotely by recording her preference on the ballot paper and sending it back to the election officer before counting.

Who else can avail this facility?

Members of the armed forces like the Army, Navy and Air Force, members of the armed police force of a state (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their spouses are entitled to vote only by post.

  • The exception to the above-mentioned category of voters is provided under Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Representation of the People Act, 1951:

This act provides for the actual conduct of elections in India. It deals with the following matters:

  1. Details like Qualification and Disqualification of members of both the Houses of Parliament and the State Legislatures,
  2. Administrative machinery for conducting elections,
  3. Registration of Political parties,
  4. Conduct of Elections,
  5. Election Disputes,
  6. Corrupt practices & Electoral offences, &
  7. By-elections.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Postal Voting?
  2. Who is eligible?
  3. Who can decide matters related to postal voting?
  4. Role of Election Commission of India.
  5. Is Right to vote a constitutional right?

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and benefits of postal voting.

Sources: the Hindu.