Govt amends rules to allow postal ballots for those aged 85 or above, not 80-plus

Syllabus: GS-II,  Subject: Polity, Topic: Elections and RPA, Issue: Voting mechanisms

Context: Union Law Ministry amended the Conduct of Elections Rules-1961 to change the definition of senior citizens who are eligible to choose the postal ballot facility.

Postal Ballots:

  • The Conduct of Election Rules 1961 enable postal ballot voting for a “notified class of electors”.
  • Available to
    • persons with disability,
    • absentee voters who are working in essential services
    • senior citizens

Other mechanisms:

  1. Proxy voting enables voters to appoint proxies to vote on their behalf.
  2. Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) Wherein, the returning officer will send the ballot electronically and the voter can then register their mandate on the ballot printout and send it back with an attested declaration.

Currently, both ETPBS and proxy voting are currently available to only service voters, like those in the armed forces or diplomatic missions.

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