the EC had earlier decided to allow those above 65, COVID-positive voters and all those under quarantine to use the option of postal ballots
New Delhi: The Election Commission has decided not to extend the facility of postal ballot for voters aged 65 and above in the coming Assembly elections in Bihar and byelections due in the near future in view of the constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of COVID-19.
In view of the pandemic, the EC had earlier decided to allow those above 65, COVID-positive voters and all those under quarantine to use the option of postal ballots to minimise their vulnerability and exposure at the polling stations.
On Thursday, the EC said it had been constantly monitoring the electoral preparedness for the coming byelections and Assembly elections in Bihar in view of this unprecedented environment, and had already limited the number of electors to 1,000 for each polling station to enable ease of voting, especially for the elderly and other vulnerable sections.
However, the EC clarified the facility of optional postal ballots for those above 80, as well as electors engaged in essential services and all those who are COVID-positive/suspect in quarantine (home/institutional) will be extended in these elections.
Bihar is creating around an extra 34,000 polling stations, an increase of 45 per cent, which will increase the total number of polling stations to around 1,06,000. The EC said this would entail logistical challenges of mobilising 1.8 lakh more polling personnel and other resources.