NEW DELHI: More than 10,000 people including citizens over 80 years of age and persons with disability have opted for postal ballot to cast their votes at home in phase one of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, according to data collated by Election Commission.
A total of 58 seats would go for polls in phase one of the polls on February 10.
As many as 3,312 electors in the PwD category (with at least 40 per cent disability) and 7,396 electors in Senior Citizen (above 80 years of age) category have opted for postal ballot facility at home, according to the data.
In 2019, the Election Commission had expanded the scope of postal ballot by introducing a class of 'Absentee Voters' which included senior citizens above 80 years and Persons with Disabilities (PwD) electors.
It designed a system to facilitate voting for them at their doorstep.
Its objective is to provide opportunity for voting for the reasons of old age or disability.
Started in the assembly elections of Jharkhand, 2019 as a pilot, it was facilitated in all the constituencies in all subsequent assembly elections of Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
According to the guidelines provided by the Commission, every elector in these categories is provided Form 12-D in which a desired elector opts for this facility and submits it to the concerned returning officer within five days of the notification of poll.
The returning officer, subsequent to verification, prepares a list of such electors who are to be extended the facility of postal ballot and shares it with all contesting candidates of recognized political parties.
The returning officer also shares the schedule plan of visiting the homes of these electors with the candidates well in advance.
A polling team, along with micro observer visits the house of such electors and, in secured and safe environment, facilitates the postal ballot voting and collects it in presence of representatives of the candidates.
The entire process is video-graphed also.