HAILAKANDI- For the first time ever octogenarians above 80 plus and persons with disabilities cast their votes from the confines of their homes ahead of the polling dates for the Assam Assembly election here on Sunday, thanks to the new initiative of the Election Commission of India to extend such facility to these category of voters, which included COVID suspect or affected persons.
Polling teams consisting of security personnel and videographer visited the residences of these categories of voters in the three Legislative Assembly constituencies namely 6 Hailakandi, 7 Katlicherra and 8 Algapur to gather their votes through postal ballots.
As many as 479 80 plus senior citizens and 101 PwDs cast their votes through postal ballots on the first day of the exercise that will culminate on Wednesday.
The elderly and PwDs who exercised their franchise from the comforts of their homes expressed their gratitude to the ECI for extending the facility for the first time ever in the electoral annals of the country.
Additional Deputy Commissioner cum Officer In charge Postal Ballot Cell, Dhrubajyoti Deb who monitored the exercise since the wee hours expressed satisfaction in the manner in which the voting process through postal ballots was carried out in a smooth and hassle-free way.
“Arrangements have been done to deliver postal ballot and to get the same collected after the person concerned casts his postal vote, before the regular voting in that constituency. And these postal ballots will be kept at the treasury office and can be inspected by the contesting candidates or their agents,” said Deb.
15 teams for each LAC have been constituted to cover as many as 1,602 elderly and PwD voters latest by Wednesday.
In case of absentee voters belonging to Divyang category, who opt for postal ballots, application (Form 12) will have to be accompanied by a copy of benchmark disability certificate specified by the concerned appropriate government under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
Voters of these categories, who have been issued postal ballots, will not be allowed to vote at a polling station. The commission rules says that the returning officer (RO) will have to share a list of all such PWD and 80+ electors, whose applications for availing postal ballot facility have been approved by him, with the contesting candidates of recognized political parties in printed hardcopy.