Chandigarh, Oct 25: The Election Commission today said the Union Law ministry has accepted its recommendation regarding the e-ballot facility for service voters, including armed personnel posted at border areas.
"We had recommended electronic postal ballot facility for service voters and it has been accepted by Ministry of Law and Justice and this facility will now be provided to them. "Now our service voters posted at border areas can use this facility for the first time on pilot basis which is a historic opportunity for ECI to promote inclusive participation," Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said while addressing media here today.
"We have the technology and operational procedure (for it) and we are working with the ministry of defence on it. We are asking them how many are service voters at borders and we will successfully implement the same and a lot of service voters will be included," he said.
CEC informed that Punjab has 1.09 lakh registered service voters. "We will look at whether this number is sufficient or large number of people have not been covered under the same," he said, adding, "We are making this beginning from state of Punjab for first time."
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He noted that most of service voters could not go to their polling stations as they are posted outside.
In another step to ensure maximum participation of voters during upcoming Punjab assembly polls, the Election Commission has also decided to set up polling stations at old age homes and blind schools, besides making election process "disabled friendly".
"Polling stations shall be set up in leper homes, blind schools for the ease and facilitation of electors at these institutions so that maximum people can participate in election process," Zaidi said.
Zaidi, who was flanked by two election commissioners Achal Kumar Joti and Om Prakash Rawat, further said "mapping for disabled people will be done polling station wise to know how many are disabled at which polling station so that authorities can make arrangements for their facilitation like providing wheel chair," he said.
He further said at all polling stations, necessary arrangements have been made like ramp for disabled, drinking facilities, toilets, power and waiting room. "There are some polling stations where toilets for women are not available and we have asked the state government to provide these facilities," he said. There are a total of 22,600 polling stations at 14,354 Polling locations.