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EC not to extend postal ballot facility to voters above 65 in Bihar polls, bye-elections: Government


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NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has decided not to extend the facility of postal ballots to voters above 65 years of age in the Bihar polls and various other bye-elections, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the decision has been taken in view of the constraints related to logistics, manpower and safety protocols for COVID-19.

"The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 was amended to reduce the age limit for protection of vulnerable persons above 65 years of age and the same was notified on 19th June, 2020 in pursuance of section 169 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which does not enjoin consultation with the State Governments," he said.

"Subsequently, the Election Commission has announced that it has decided not to issue Notification under section 60(c) of the said Act to extend the facility of postal ballot to electors above 65 years of age in General Assembly Elections in Bihar and bye elections due in the near future in view of constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of COVID-19," Prasad said.

He was asked whether the government has reduced the age limit for senior citizens, who can opt for postal ballots in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, following the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)