As on March 22, 12-D forms (seeking postal ballots) have been received by Returning Officers from over 1.49 lakh elderly electors.

Postal voting for electors aged above 80 is under way in various Assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu. As on March 22, 12-D forms (seeking postal ballots) had been received by Returning Officers from over 1.49 lakh elderly electors.

This is the first time certain sections of the public in the State have been allowed to cast postal ballots.

Earlier, only service voters and those drafted for election work were allowed the facility.

Different dates

Speaking to The Hindu, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said the date on which election officials would visit the homes of such elderly voters would not be the same across the State. “It would depend on the respective Returning Officers, the number of such electors, their availability, police personnel and video teams.”

“If a Returning Officer has satisfied all the requirements needed for undertaking the postal ballot voting, he/she can commence,” he said.

An Assistant Returning Officer would be assigned to handle all the work related to postal ballot voting by absentee voters.

No agent present

On Thursday, a team of officials visited the homes of those who had submitted 12-D forms in various parts of Ambattur and received their ballots in a postal ballot box. After fulfilling the procedure, the electors were handed ballot sheets, and they were offered privacy for a few minutes to affix a tick against the candidate of their choice.

No agent of any political party was present. However, in some cases, spouses were seen along with the electors while they were casting the ballots. “Every elector would be provided with a list of candidates for reference before casting his/her postal ballot,” Mr. Sahoo said.

All the forms and postal ballots are enclosed in envelopes before they are received in the postal ballot box. Besides elderly electors, 12-D forms were also received from over 45,300 persons who are differently abled.

All 234 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu will go to the polls on April 6, and the counting is scheduled for May 2. The schedule is the same for the byelection to the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency.

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