Delhi

Metro, railway staff to get postal ballot for first time

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Northern Railway workers and mediapersons covering the elections can also avail of the facility

When the Capital’s residents cast their votes in the Delhi Assembly elections on February 8, several categories of electors may have already voted through postal ballots, with employees of the Delhi Metro and Northern Railway and mediapersons covering polling being extended the postal facility for the first time.

Also, in a first for Delhi, the postal ballot facility extended to senior citizens aged over 80 years and persons with disabilities (PwD) in the 2019 Jharkhand Assembly elections would be implemented in the national capital as well, as per a January 8 notification by the Election Commission of India.

The ECI, on January 10, notified those employed by the Delhi Metro and Northern Railway Transportation (passenger and freight) Services in Delhi as well as mediapersons who have been authorised to cover polling by the ECI as “essential services”.

These electors, “who on account of being on duty on the day of poll in the current general election to Legislative Assembly of NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi...will not be able to be present in their respective polling station”, will be allowed to vote by postal ballot, the notification said.

On January 10, the ECI wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi to inform Delhi Metro and Northern Railway about the postal ballot facility and instruct them to nominate nodal officers for the same.

The ECI had on September 2, 2019, recommended to the Union Law and Justice Ministry to extend the postal ballot facility to absentee voters — electors who are unable to reach polling stations due to different degrees of disability, as well as those discharging essential services.

The Ministry had issued the relevant notification on October 22, 2019, after which postal ballots were given to those above 80 years and PwD in seven constituencies as a pilot in the Jharkhand polls in December.

Briefing for observers

Meanwhile, the ECI held a briefing on Tuesday for officers to be deployed as observers for the elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly. In a statement, the ECI said that over 150 officers from the IAS, IPS, IRS and other Central services were called to attend the briefing for general, police and expenditure observers.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:59:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/metro-railway-staff-to-get-postal-ballot-for-first-time/article30570487.ece

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