For many officials on poll duty, the 2019 general election has a pleasant surprise — the early arrival of election duty certificates (EDC), which will enable them to cast their votes on Tuesday morning when the second phase of polling commences across 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.
More than 3 lakh government officials and police personnel have been deployed for poll duty across 28 constituencies in Karnataka.
The certificates are issued to officials after they fill Form 12-A to enable them to cast their votes in the polling booths that they are posted at. The EDC is issued to polling officers who are posted in the same constituency that they are registered as voters since the candidates are common. Postal ballot is issued to those working outside the constituency and they can be sent till May 22.
“The application form to apply for EDC came to us along with the duty allotment order. Those who could not collect it were given the EDC on Monday at mustering centres. We are happy about it,” said Veeresh Angadi from Talikota, who has poll duty in Nagthan constituency. During earlier elections, most poll-bound officials had to submit the forms in the tahsildar’s office five days before polling day. According to a nodal officer in charge of EDC and postal ballots, the Election Commission took special interest in this issue. “More than 90 officials on poll duty have been given EDC,” he said.
The system for postal ballot has also improved, said another officer, a voter in north Belagavi but posted on duty in Vijayapura.
“Though we have time till May 22 to cast our votes, ballot papers have already been sent,” he said.
Tech to the rescue
Good Internet connectivity and easy availability of smartphones came in handy for officials distributing EDC to those in mustering centres at Vijayapura. Nodal officers used smartphones to check voter details as many had forgotten their slip.