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Voting through postal ballot by Absentee Voters on Essential Service (AVES)
By the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules, 2019, ‘Absentee Voters’ have been given the facility of voting through postal ballot paper.
Provisions made by the amendments
(1) `Absentee Voter’ has been defined in clause (a) of Rule-27A of CE Rules, 1961 as a person belonging to the class of persons notified by the Commission in terms of clause (c) of Section-60 of RP Act, 51 comprising persons employed in essential services who, on account of the compulsion of their duties, are not able to be present in their polling station on the day of poll. This category would also include senior citizens of 80 plus age and those belonging to the category of physically disabled (PWD).
(2) The Commission has notified the officials of (i) Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, (ii) Northern Railway (Passenger and Freight) Services and (iii) Media persons to whom authority letters have been issued with the approval of the Commission as absentee voters on the category of essential service for the purpose of the facility of postal ballot voting. Accordingly, the officials of these categories who are enrolled in the electoral roll in Delhi and who would be certified to be on duty on the day of poll (08-2-2020), and on account of theirsuch official duties,will not be able to be present in the polling station for voting on that day, will be eligible for voting through postal ballot as absentee voters in the essential service category.
(3) Absentee Voter wishing to vote by postal ballot has to make application to the Returning Officer in Form-12D giving all requisite particulars. In the case of those Absentee Voters belonging to the category of essential services, their application is required to be verified by the Nodal officer appointed by the organisation concerned. Such application seeking postal ballot facility should reach the RO within five days following the date of notification of the election concerned.