Accessibility November 22, 2019
Postal ballot facility for disabled voters, people over 80 in Delhi
For voters with disabilities in Delhi, the assembly elections next year will be more inclusive. The Election Commission has agreed to provide postal ballots facility to voters with disabilities and also those aged above 80 years.
Gong to the polling booth to cast votes is not always convenient for people with multiple disabilities, restricted mobility and also aged people. While the Election Commission has been working on making voting inclusive across the country, many voting booths are not accessible.
Due to this, many people opt out of using their voting rights as they cannot physically got to cast their votes at designated booths. Next year, the assembly elections in Delhi will not have such issues as postal ballot option will be offered to people who cannot make it to the polling stations. This has become possible after the recent amendments to the Conduct of Election Rules by the law ministry.
It is a great news that people with disabilities and those aged over 80 years will be able to participate in the elections, which I feel is the festival of democracy. However, this arrangement should not be used as an excuse for not making the polling booths accessible and voting centers should be made inclusive despite the postal ballots option. I would also suggest that the postal ballots option should be extended to people undergoing treatment in hospitals who are not able to cast their votes by physically going to the polling booths. Dr Satendra Singh, Disability right activist
To avail the postal ballots facility, voters will be required to mark themselves using the ‘Voter Helpline’ application or by visiting the voter centers prior to the elections. Voters will then be provided the postal ballots that they will have to return by post to register their vote.
Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi Ranbir Singh spoke to the media and said, “People can check their names in the electoral roll by visiting the website of the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi, voter helpline application etc. On November 23 and 24, there will be special camps held at all designated stations for the purpose.”
Ranbir Singh also said that there are around 44,000 disabled voters in Delhi as per the electoral roll.
The final electoral roll for Delhi will be published on 6 January 2020 and people who have turned 18 or will be turning 18 on or before 1 January, can also get their names added in the voter list and exercise their voting rights.
However, much before Delhi, the postal ballots facility will be put to use in the upcoming Jharkhand assembly polls that are to begin from 30 November.
To register for the electoral roll, voters can visit the website: https://nvsp.in/
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