As postal voting begins, HC orders EC to ensure safety

Chennai: Madras High Court today directed the Election Commission of India to safeguard the postal votes in a room with CCTV camera.

The court also asked the ECI to ensure that no complaints are raised against the counting of postal votes.

The order was issued after DMK on Thursday complained to the Madras High Court against the collection of postal votes even before the list of absentee voters was provided to recognised political parties.

Absentee voters include those aged above 80, people with disabilities, persons employed in essential services and Covid-19 patients, who have chosen to vote through postal ballot.

Meanwhile, postal voting for senior citizens and the differently-abled has commenced in various Assembly constituencies of Tamilnadu.

According to officials, 12-D forms (seeking postal ballots) had been received by Returning Officers from over 1.49 lakh elderly electors. 12-D forms were also received from over 45,300 persons who are differently abled.

This is the first time that these sections of the public in the State have been allowed to cast postal ballots.

A team of officials would visit the homes of those who had submitted 12-D forms and receive their ballots in a postal ballot box.

The Election Commission said polling officials visiting the houses of the voters will be provided with police security and the entire exercise will be videographed to ensure that elections are held in a free and fair manner.

The candidates or their representatives can watch the entire process, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said.

 

NT Bureau