Personnel on election duty to vote at Special Voter Facilitations centres: CEO - Hindustan Times
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Personnel on election duty to vote at Special Voter Facilitations centres: CEO

By, Shimla
May 04, 2024 06:20 AM IST

The voters on election duty would cast their ballot at a voter facilitation centre, instead of sending by post

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has incorporated the new Section 18 A in Conduct of Election Rules 1961, stating that “A voter on election duty shall receive his postal ballot, record his vote thereon and return the same at the voter facilitation centre as specified, in writing, by the returning officer,” said chief electoral officer Maneesh Garg here on Friday.

The polling personnel on election duty will apply on Form 12/Form 12A for postal ballots/EDC to the returning officer concerned, who will send the same to the ARO where they are voters. (HT File Photo)
The polling personnel on election duty will apply on Form 12/Form 12A for postal ballots/EDC to the returning officer concerned, who will send the same to the ARO where they are voters. (HT File Photo)

The voters on election duty would cast their ballot at a voter facilitation centre, instead of sending by post. The new rule was introduced to check the potential misuse of the postal ballot facility extended to voters on poll duty and also to enhance their participation he said.

For operationalising the above provision effectively and smoothly, a detailed SOP has been prepared by the state election department and circulated to all district election officers.

The polling personnel on election duty will apply on Form 12/Form 12A for postal ballots/EDC to the returning officer concerned, who will send the same to the ARO where they are voters. The ARO where they are voters will prepare their postal ballots and send them to the ARO where they are posted/deployed on duty. The polling personnel on election duty will cast their vote through postal ballot at the training centre during the second and third trainings. This has been done to facilitate the polling personnel on duty to cast their votes at the facility before they proceed to the allotted polling stations for election duty.

Apart from this, the CEO said that the police personnel/home guards jawans deployed on election duty will be provided Form 12(PB) or Form 12A (EDC) by the nodal officer as appointed by the superintendent of police. The nodal officer will send it to the concerned ROs/AROs. As far as the HRTC staff is concerned, the regional manager will appoint a nodal officer to coordinate all activities related to the distribution of Form 12 (PB) or Form 12A (EDC) for drivers and conductors on election duty and will send to the concerned ROs/AROs. The other staff will apply to the concerned ARO where they are deployed and will be accordingly issued the postal ballots.

Further, a clearing house will be set up at Shimla where nodal officers from every assembly segment will come with their postal ballots and hand them to the respective AROs where the employees are posted or deployed to ensure that they can cast their votes and cast votes reach the respective counting centres in time before the date of counting. This has been done to ensure that there is no delay in exchange of the postal ballots and consequently no one is denied the opportunity to cast their vote.

He said that the process of voting at the facilitation centres will be videographed while maintaining the secrecy of voting. Also, an officer will be present at the facilitation centres for attestation of declarations. Political party and candidate representatives will also be informed about the schedule and can remain present at the facilitation centres.

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