EC proposes removal of postal ballots for poll workers

The Election Commission has written to the Law Ministry, proposing that poll workers cast their ballot at voter facilitation centres set up for them instead of through postal ballots.

Sources claimed that the move is aimed at reducing the potential for misuse.

The poll panel proposed amending Rule 18 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 in this regard.

It has been seen that even as the poll workers have the option of going to a voter facilitation centre, many of them choose to send in their votes via post and keep the postal ballots at their homes for a long time after completing their election duties.

A source said that during many state Assembly elections in the past two years, over 50 per cent of the ballots of election staff in Goa, Kerala, and Manipur, were sent though post.

Once implemented by the Law Ministry, the change in rules would reduce the potential misuse of ballot papers. As per the policy, the election workers are deployed at constituencies other than their own. As per existing norms, they apply for postal ballots from their respective returning officers at the time of the pre-election training. The returning officers issue the ballots and also set up facilitation centres for them to facilitate their voting.

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