More than fifty-two thousand electors belonging to Senior Citizen (above 80 years of age) and PwD categories have opted to exercise the facility to vote through postal ballots in the forthcoming phase 1 of General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar 2020.
These electors will be provided postal ballots on the pre-informed date(s) by the Returning Officers with proper security and videography arrangements to ensure secrecy, safety, and transparency in the process.
This is the first time that postal ballot facility is being extended to both the categories in Bihar elections. Booth Level Officers of 71 Assembly Constituencies in Bihar have reached out to more than four lakh such electors. Remaining electors intend to visit the booth on the poll day for voting.
It may be recalled that General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar 2020 was announced on 25 September 2020. In the first phase elections, polling in 71 ACs spread over 16 districts of Bihar is to be held on October 28, 2020.
Earlier, during the Commission’s visit to Bihar from September 29 – October 01, 2020, attention was drawn to certain concerns regarding the implementation of this provision for the above categories of voters.
To comprehensively address these concerns, on October 03, 2020, Commission had directed:
- BLO will visit the houses of the concerned electors, as provided by the RO, in the Polling Station area and deliver Form- 12-D to the concerned electors. If an elector is not available, he/she will share his/her contact details and revisit to collect it within five days of the notification
- The elector may or may not opt for the 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 forthwith
- BLO shall deposit all the acknowledgement forms with the RO along with all Form 12-D
- Sector Officer shall supervise it under the overall supervision of RO
In subsequent two phases of elections in Bihar and in bye-elections in all other States, this exercise will continue so that electoral process becomes more accessible, inclusive and safe for these categories during the period of COVID-19. BLOs will visit approximately 12 lakh such electors’ homes in Bihar in the next two phases for this purpose.