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Media persons can now cast vote via postal ballot facility: Election commission

Media persons authorized by the Electoral Commission of India (ECI) can exercise their franchise by using the postal ballot facility, said the election body on Sunday.

This comes after media professionals during a press conference submitted a request to the Director General of Elections (CEO) Punjab S Karuna Raju to be included in the absentee voters so that they can cast their ballots using the absentee voters so that they can cast votes using the postal ballot facility.

Giving details, Dr. Raju said that any absentee voter who wishes to vote by postal ballot has to make an application to the Returning officer in Form 12D giving all the required details and have the request verified by the designated contract officer of the respective organization.

He added that such applications seeking postal ballot facility must reach the RO during the period from the date of announcement of election to five days following the date of notification of the election concerned, he added.

He clarified that any voter who opts for the postal method of voting will not be able to cast their usual vote at the polling station.

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Earlier, the commission allowed voters age 80 and above, people with disabilities (more than 40%), and COVID-19 patients to cast their ballots by mail.

This is added to the already existing categories of absentee voters, who due to the performance of their duties on voting day will not be able to attend their polling stations.

Other primary service voters who can also choose a mail-in ballot center include Civil Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Food Corporation of India, All India Radio, Doordarshan, Post and Telegraph, Railways, BSNL, Power, Health, Firefighters and Civil Aviation in case they are in Service, read the ECI notification.

Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa are going to the assembly polls over the next two months.

The postal voting Centre shall be open up to three consecutive days in each constituency prior to the date set for voting in the constituency. All three days, PVC remains open from 9 am to 5 pm.

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