Source: News Bharati English25 Oct 2016 14:13:56

New Delhi, October 25: The service voters will now be able to vote in a very quick and easy manner right from the place they have been posted. This development came by just after the centre issued notification amending rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enabling service voters, including armed forces personnel, to cast their vote in elections through e-postal ballot.
Under this system a blank postal ballot paper would be transmitted to them electronically. This would cut short the delay experienced in the present system in two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services. The armed forces personnel serving in remote and border areas would be greatly benefitted since the present system of two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services has not been able to meet the expectations of the service voters.

The difficulties and hardships encountered by the service voters, especially by the armed forces personnel serving the border and remote areas of the country, have been receiving the attention of the Government in recent times. The issue was also agitated before the Supreme Court, pleading for creating effective mechanism for the Armed Forces Personnel (AFP) and their families to exercise their right to vote easily and effectively.

One-way electronic transmission of blank postal ballot would considerably cut short the delay in receipt of the marked postal ballot by the Returning Officers on or before the date fixed for the counting of votes. Major beneficiaries would be the entire category of service voters as stated above, especially the armed forces personnel posted in border and remote areas of the country.

With the issue of the aforesaid notification, a long-pending and near-unanimous demand of the service voters, including the armed forces personnel, has been fulfilled. Two-way electronic transmission has not been recommended by the Election Commission for security and secrecy reasons.