Thiruvananthapuram: More voters would be eligible for postal ballots for the Kerala state polls as the Election Commission has included a few more categories. Apart from voters aged above 80 years as well as people found positive for COVID-19 and their contacts, differently-abled and employees of 16 departments declared as essential services by the Election Commission can also make use of the facility.
All the eligible voters should apply for postal ballots before March 17.
Booth-level officers will supply application forms at the homes of voters aged above 80 years, differently-abled people as well as COVID-19 patients and their contacts. The forms could be delivered to them from March 12 when the assembly election will be formally notified in the state. If they do not intend to cast votes through the mail, they can refuse the application forms.
The filled-up forms should be handed over to the booth-level officers. A receipt will be issued.
The booth-level officers will hand over the forms they receive to the assistant returning officers, who will send the ballot papers and associated materials to the addresses of eligible voters through polling officers.
The date and time of the officials’ visit to the place of residence of the voters will be intimated earlier to the voters, candidates and their agents. On the designated date, a team of two polling officers, a police officer and a videographer will visit the voter to collect the postal vote.
The voting has to be secretive. The ballot has to be placed in a sealed cover before handing it over to the polling team. Neither the polling team nor agents are allowed to go inside the house or take photographs.
The polling team will collect the sealed ballot and hand it over to the assistant returning officer, who will store it in a strong room until the day of counting.