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Chandigarh to Offer Home Voting for Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities

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Starting Monday, the Chandigarh election department will initiate the distribution of registration forms to individuals aged 85 and above, as well as persons with disabilities, who wish to cast their votes from home using ballot papers.

Chandigarh is gearing up to elect its next Member of Parliament (MP) in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections on June 1 this year. However, the home voting process through ballot papers will commence earlier on May 18 and will conclude before June 1.

This election marks the first time that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is extending home voting facilities to senior citizens and differently abled individuals. In Chandigarh, approximately 4,680 individuals aged over 85 and 3,735 persons with disabilities are eligible for this special voting facility. While the home voting option also applies to active Covid-19 patients, it’s anticipated that the prevalence of the disease will be minimal during this period.

Distribution of Registration Forms at Voters’ Doorsteps

District election officer and deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh elaborated on the home voting procedure, emphasizing its role in assisting voters who are unable to travel to polling booths but are keen on exercising their voting rights. Given Chandigarh’s status as a prominent retirement destination, this initiative is expected to benefit a significant number of residents. Special teams comprising block level officers (BLOs) and officials will begin distributing Form 12-D to eligible senior citizens and differently abled individuals starting April 15. BLOs will verify the 40% disability certificate to ensure eligibility for home voting.

Once consent is obtained, a ballot paper will be issued in the names of eligible voters, rendering them ineligible for voting via Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). A stamp on the voters list at the respective polling booth will prevent duplicate voting.

Commencement of Home Voting

Home voting will commence on May 18 with a scheduled completion before June 1. Special officers will transport voting compartments to registered voters’ homes, ensuring proper webcasting to uphold the integrity of the elections. Additionally, political parties’ polling agents will be informed of the home voting schedule. Facilities will also be available at all polling booths for senior citizens and differently abled voters who prefer to cast their votes in person.

Enrollment Deadline and Voting Procedure

Residents of Chandigarh, particularly first-time voters, have until May 4 to register and participate in the June 1 election. Enrollment can be done by filling out Form 6 through the Voter Helpline App, voter portal, or by submitting the form to the booth level officer.

All elderly and disabled voters registered by the May 4 deadline will be eligible to utilize the home voting facility during the elections.

These initiatives aim to enhance voter accessibility and ensure broader participation in the democratic process among all eligible citizens of Chandigarh.

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