The government issued a notification recently leading to an amendment to Rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. Under the provisions of the new rule, a blank postal ballot paper will be sent to certain sections of the electorate electronically.
The benefit of postal ballots has been extended to the members of armed forces, and supplementary forces, and certain government employees deployed in remote/inaccessible areas and those posted abroad. All of these must have registered with electoral authorities as registered voters.
The new system has been made operational on a pilot project basis for the aforesaid groups of registered voters. It may later be extended to special voters and those in preventive detention.
The postal ballot system involves use of the electronic postal ballots to ensure voting is easier and faster for the users casting their votes.
According to official sources, the benefit of the new e-postal ballot system is that it reduces the time length (delay) encountered in the current system that involves two-way transfer of ballots by the department of posts. The system of 2-way electronic ballots has been done away with by the EC for security and confidentiality reasons.
Under the new system, a blank postal ballot is transmitted electronically to the voter. The voter needs to download the ballot, complete it and revert it through postal service. The system has been built by the technical team of the Election Commission of India.
The move is an initiative under the government’s Digital India Project.