The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission has said that voters above the age of 80 years, physically challenged persons and those recovering from Covid-19 would be given the facility of casting their ballots from home during the upcoming Assembly polls.According to Election Commission of India (ECI), there are a total of 24.42 lakh registered voters above 80 years of age in Uttar Pradesh.To facilitate such voters, in October 2019, the Ministry of Law and Justice brought an amendment in conduct of election rules and included senior citizens above 80 years of age and physically disabled people under absentee voters.In June 2020, another amendment included Covid positive patients as absentee voters, who would not require to visit polling stations but would be provided postal ballot box at their homes to ensure that they are able to cast their vote in secrecy.
ECI officials said: "Under the absentee category, people above 80 years of age, Covid positive patients, physically disabled and essential service providers (like railways, postal service etc.) can download the 12D form from the ECI website or receive a copy of the same from booth level officer (BLO). After filling it correctly, the 12D form should be submitted with the BLO within five days of notification of polls."Covid positive patients need to attach a medical report stating their Covid status, while physically disabled individuals can submit government issued certificates of disabilities."Once the form is submitted, it will be scrutinised and a list of such voters would be shared with political parties that can visit the voters' house on the day of polling. A postal ballot box along with ballot paper would be provided wherein they can cast the vote in secrecy," the officer said, adding that the process would be conducted 24 hours before the actual polling under the supervision of an assistant returning officer."This will be the first time that postal ballot exercise for 80 years above and Covid patients would be taking place."