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CEO briefs about Postal ballot facility for absentee voters

The persons deployed in essential services as categorized by the Election Commission of India for the upcoming Lok Sabha and bye-elections in the State will be eligible to vote through Postal Ballot as absentee voters on essential services provided that they are certified by the Nodal officers ‘as on duty’ on the day of Poll and submit their duly filled Form 12 D by 12th May 2024 to their respective Assistant Returning Officers AROs.

Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg stated this while presiding over a meeting of Nodal officers of different departments whose employees have been notified in essential services category.
The categories include doctors, paramedical staff and ambulance services, the essential duty staff of fire department, drivers and conductors (only on long routes) excluding local routes bus services within the city, milk supply service staff of milk federation and cooperative societies, media persons, pump operators and turners, electricians and line-mans besides the Jail staff deputed on essential service which have been included for the first time during these elections.
Briefing on the occasion, the CEO said that officials of these above categories would have to submit Form 12-D with their contact number and the Nodal Officers will give a certificate in Part II of the Form. The Nodal officers will further give it to the concerned Returning officers (ROs) or the Assistant Returning officers (AROs) under proper receipt with dates when these forms are handed over.
The CEO specially mentioned that the absentee voters need to sign the declaration which will be attested by a gazetted officer on duty at Postal Voting Centers. The PVCs shall be opened for up to three consecutive days in each constituency and the three days period shall be so fixed that it is completed at least three days before the date fixed for Poll.
Special AROs will be designated for receiving, preparing and managing the process besides the PVCs. Apart from this the returning officer shall identify a suitable venue and room at a suitable location to be used as the (PVC) for facilitating the Absentee voters and thereafter for collection of such postal ballot paper from the PVC
He also stated that all the persons in essential services, who have applied for postal ballot paper category shall be duly intimated about the full address of the PVC venue, the dates and time on which the postal ballot voting facility will remain open, through SMS on the mobile phone number as mentioned by absentee voters in the application Form 12 D.
He further stated that once the application has been approved for this facility to vote in PVC by the voter and in any case he does not turn up for voting in PVC for which his application has been approved, there is no provision to send postal ballot to him/her by post. They can only vote at such PVCs and not in any other manner or other at other place, he clarified.
The electors will be briefed about the procedure for voting and the formalities to be observed on their part. Those departments who have not appointed the State Nodal officers and district Nodal Officers should appoint them as soon as possible under intimation to the election department, he emphasized.
He also informed that during the last Vidhan Sabha election 2022, 1181 postal ballots were issued to essential services voters out of which 872 were received back.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Dalip Negi, Officers/State Nodal officers from the concerned departments attended the meeting.

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