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52,000 voters opt for postal ballot in phase 1 of Bihar polls: Poll body

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New Delhi, Oct 12: More than 52,000 voters, who are either senior citizens above 80 years of age or are people with disabilities, have opted for postal ballot in the first phase of Bihar elections to be held on October 28, the Election Commission said on Monday.

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Booth Level Officers (BLO) in 71 constituencies spread across 16 districts of the state had approached over 4 lakh voters of the two categories. More than 52,000 such electors have opted to vote through postal ballots in phase one of polls, the poll body said in a statement.

The remaining electors have preferred to visit the polling booth to cast vote. Those who have opted for the facility would be provided postal ballots on a pre-informed date by the concerned returning officers with proper security and videography arrangements to ensure secrecy, safety, and transparency in the process.

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In subsequent two phases of elections in Bihar and in by-elections in other states, the exercise will continue so that the electoral process becomes more accessible, inclusive and safe for these categories of voters against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poll panel said.

Bypolls are to held on November 3 and November 7.

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    Officials will visit homes of approximately 12 lakh such electors in Bihar in the next two phases of elections to help them exercise the postal ballot option.

    An official explained that this postal ballot facility is different from the one extended to service voters.

    Here, those willing to use the facility have to fill up a form. Officials then carry the ballot to the residence of such voters and videograph the voting to ensure transparency.

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