J&K: People with Disabilities (PwDs) and senior citizens can avail home voting facility during General Elections.

In Jammu and Kashmir, over 1.50 lakh Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and senior citizens of above 85 years of age can avail home voting facility during the forthcoming General Elections. Akashvani Jammu Correspondent reports that there are 77,613 Persons with Disabilities (not less than 40% of a specified disability) and 77,045 senior citizens (85+) in the UT. During the General Elections, they need not to face the hassle of travelling up to Polling Stations if their health or any other circumstance don’t permit them to do so and they can simply avail the home voting facility to exercise their democratic right. This is for the first time that Election Commission of India has made available the facility of vote from home through postal ballot for these two types of voters. Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will obtain consent from the Persons with Disabilities and senior citizens (85+) and two polling officials accompanied by a videographer and a security person will visit the voter’s home and enable him or her to vote in a postal ballot. Such voters will be informed in advance about the date and approximate time of visit of election officials by an SMS to the mobile number mentioned in the application. However, complete secrecy of the ballot would be maintained as the ballot paper would be sealed in a double envelope to be delivered to the Returning Officer.

The ECI has also made arrangements for comfortable voting by these two categories of voters at the Polling Stations. It will be ensured that Polling Stations for these two categories of voters are on ground floor and facilities like ramps, waiting area, wheel chairs, first aid and toilets are in place. Moreover, there will be disability specific poll volunteers at the Polling Stations. Worth to mention, there are total 86,92,646 electors in the UT of J&K. Of these, 44,35,541 are males and 42,56,946 females.

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