Postal ballots proposal seeks to facilitate abroad electors, says EC

Suggestions to Legislation Ministry embrace postal ballots and voting by proxy, says EC Secretary

The Election Fee (EC) mentioned final week, in response to the Communist Occasion of India (Marxist) normal secretary Sitaram Yechury elevating concern over the supply of postal ballots to NRIs (Non-Resident Indians), that the EC’s proposal to the Legislation Ministry was an extension of its efforts to facilitate abroad electors.

In reply to Mr. Yechury’s December four letter, EC Secretary N.T. Bhutia wrote again on December 19 saying that particular provisions for the registration of abroad electors have been prolonged in 2011 underneath the Illustration of the Individuals Act, 1951, however underneath the present guidelines, NRIs can solely solid their votes at their respective polling stations in India in individual.

The official mentioned the EC had advisable to the Legislation Ministry choices for abroad electors, together with postal ballots and voting by proxy, after consultations with stakeholders, together with political events, and on the advice of a committee in 2015. In October 2016, the Conduct of Elections guidelines, 1961 have been amended for one-way digital transmission of ballots underneath the Electronically Transmitted Postal Poll System (ETPBS) from the Returning Officer to the elector for service voters.

“The ETPBS system for service voters (armed forces and individual employed underneath the GoI [Government of India], in a submit outdoors India) is now fully streamlined and functioning satisfactorily. After profitable implementation of ETPBS for service electors, the facilitation course of for Abroad Electors was deliberated within the Fee,” the EC letter acknowledged.

The official added that in keeping with the suggestions made in 2015, the EC advisable to the Ministry on November 27 the extension of the ETPBS to abroad electors. He famous that Mr. Yechury’s letter mentioned: “The CPI(M) is in favour of extending the voting proper to abroad electors/NRls for taking part within the election course of within the nation.”

“The present proposal to increase ETPBS voting choice in favour of abroad electors despatched to the M/o Legislation & Justice on 27.11.2020 is an extension of the persevering with efforts of the Fee to facilitate voting to the abroad electors, who’re unable to train their franchise inspite of modification in Act, in 2011,” the letter mentioned.

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