A majority of government officials posted on election duty do not seem to be keen on casting their vote, if the response to the postal ballot is any indication.

Though around 34,000 government officials have been deputed on election duty, only about 15,000 officials have submitted applications for postal ballot. Of these, around 7,780 are eligible to cast their vote. The BBMP has issued 6,500 postal ballot papers and 1,700 officials have already voted (as on May 1), said a senior election official. The number may increase significantly over the next few days.

Since the government officials are posted on duty, they will not be able to cast their vote in the Assembly elections scheduled for May 5. Based on instructions from the Election Commission, these officials may cast their vote through postal ballot.

The senior official, who is overseeing the postal ballot in the 28 Assembly constituencies coming under the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, said that to assist the officials on election duty, postal ballot facilitation centres have been set up at all the Returning Officers’ offices.

“Many officials have still not registered for postal ballot despite the wide publicity. This could be due to the fact that many officials, after shifting houses, may not have changed their addresses. They may feel that the whole process of going to the office of the Returning Officer concerned and filling the form for the postal ballot is cumbersome.”

The official said at the facilitation centres, the officials can submit the documents, get them verified by gazetted officers posted there and cast vote at the centre itself.“We are hoping that the response to postal ballot will improve in the coming days. Officials also have the option of posting their ballot through speed post. Those that reach the returning officers even after May 5 and before May 7 will be considered,” he added.

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