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Bihar Assembly elections: Centre extends postal ballot facility to voters above 65, COVID-19 patients

The Centre after consulting the Election Commission of India (ECI) made rules to further amend the Conduction of Election Rules, 1961.

Published: 02nd July 2020 06:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2020 08:57 AM   |  A+A-

A Congress MLA, who tested Covid positive, casts his vote in PPE for RS election at MP Assembly (File photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A few months ahead of Bihar Assembly polls, the government on Thursday amended the postal ballot rules.

People above 65 years of age and those either suspected to be suffering from Covid-19 or found positive will be able to vote through postal ballots. 

The Ministry of Law and Justice notified the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020, extending the postal ballot facility in the upcoming polls.

The timing of the move indicates that the Election Commission may not defer the polls due to Covid-19. Earlier, the postal ballot facility was available to those who are 80 years and above.

It also extends the facility to people suffering from Covid-19 by altering the clause that extended the remote voting option to persons with disability.

People tested positive by a government hospital or a hospital recognised by the government as a Covid facility, or who are under home or institutional quarantine, can vote through postal ballot. 

Questioning the move, BSP lawmaker Kunwar Danish Ali said, “It will dent credibility of elections as it would give powers to incumbent governments to issue Covid certificates.”

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