Big change in voting rules, coronavirus patients, people over 65 now eligible for postal ballot
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Ahead of Bihar Assembly elections, the Election Commission on Thursday announced a major change in the voting rules amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, coronavirus patients, suspects and people above 65 years of age will be eligible for postal ballot.
Before this, only people over the age of 80 and those working in essential services department and posted outside their home state were allowed to vote by postal ballot.
In the new notification seen by the Jagran news team, the age 80 years has been decreased to 65 years and inserted "COVID 19 suspects or affected persons" in the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020.
Ministry of Law & Justice issues notification for Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020 - for extending postal ballot facility for electors above the age of 65 years & #COVID19 patients under home/institutional quarantine: Election Commission of India (ECI) pic.twitter.com/XPKeORe8gO
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People over 65 years of age are at the high-risk of contracting coronavirus. The government and health experts have been advising elderly people to stay at home during the pandemic. Keeping this in mind, the government has changed the voting rules pertaining to postal votes.
The development has come as a sigh of relief for people of Bihar as the state is scheduled to go to Assembly polls later this year. While the Elections Commission had postponed Rajya Sabha polls in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is almost certain that the Bihar Assembly polls will be held as per the schedule, given there is no major outbreak of the pandemic.
The coronavirus cases in Bihar have crossed 10,000-mark with 217 news cases on Wednesday. The death toll in the state stood at 68 as of Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The state has a recovery rate of more than 77 per cent.
Posted By: Shashikant Sharma