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What are postal ballots?

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

What are postal ballots?


Context:

The postal voting for electors aged above 80 is under way in various Assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu.

  • This is the first time certain sections of the public in the State are allowed to cast postal ballots. Earlier, only service voters and those drafted for election work were allowed the facility.

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.