GUWAHATI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday issued the notification for the first phase of the elections in 47 Assembly constituencies of Assam scheduled to be held on March 27.
Speaking to reporters here, State CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) Nitin Khade said that the ECI has undertaken a slew of initiatives to ensure that the electors who are unable to go to the polling booths or the absentee voters are facilitated in every way to establish wider participation in the electoral process.
For the first time, the ECI has introduced postal ballot facility for senior citizens (above 80 years), persons with disabilities (PwDs)/ differently-abled and COVID-positive patients.
Assam has 2.90 lakh voters (80-plus age), 1.33 lakh PwDs/ differently-abled voters and 289 COVID-positive patients.
Khade also said that the eligible category of voters will have to apply for availing of the postal-ballot facility before March 6. He also said that all arrangements will be made by the ECI to ensure the smooth participation in the election process through postal ballot facility.
The Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will distribute the 'Form-12D' house to house for the electors for availing of the postal ballot and collection of acknowledgements from them.
Collection of applications from electors availing the postal ballots by the BLO will be done within five days of notification, and the same will be submitted to the Returning Officer (RO) concerned.
The RO will share the list of all such PwDs and 80-plus electors, whose applications in Form-12D for availing of postal ballots facility have been approved by him, with the contesting candidates of recognized political parties in printed hard copy.
Police security cover and videography of the proceedings and collection of postal ballots will be done for free-and-fair conduct of the process.
PPE kits will be provided to those officers collecting postal ballots from COVID-19 suspected or affected voters.
Visits by teams of poll officers to collect the marked postal ballot will be planned in such a way that the same is completed one day prior to the date fixed for poll in the constituency concerned.
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