The service personnel serving in remote areas will now be able to vote through an e-ballot, though they will still be required to return the ballot paper through manual post, official sources said on Monday. "The Election Commission has developed a system whereby blank postal ballots could be electronically transmitted to the voter. The recipients can download it and print the blank postal ballot," a source said.After marking his vote in the blank postal ballot, the same would have to be returned to the Returning Officer concerned by post as in the present system of postal ballot.
The two-way electronic transmission has not been recommended by the Election Commission for security and secrecy reasons.
Introduced on a pilot basis, the facility is being extended to the central armed police forces, other forces covered under the Army Act, 1950, armed forces of a state serving outside that state and the Union government employees posted outside India.
The government issued a notification on October 21, amending Rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, enabling service voters, including armed forces personnel, to cast their vote through e-postal ballot.
The Election Commission had proposed that the categories of voters mentioned under Rule 18 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, may be made eligible for e-postal ballot system.
However, on a pilot basis, the e-postal ballot facility is being extended to some select categories.
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