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The chief electoral officer of Manipur said that the Election Commission “has notified a list of essential services where persons employed in these services and on duty on the day of poll in the current general election to the Legislative Assembly of Manipur can avail the facility of postal ballots”.

As per the EC’s notification, the list of essential services includes electricity department, BSNL, railways, post and telegram, Doordarshan, All India Radio, health department in connection with COVID-19, aviation, fire services, ambulance services and media persons authorised by EC for poll day coverage.

The persons employed in these essential services who will not be able to be present in their respective polling station are classified as class of persons to give vote by postal ballot in the said general election as per the provisions of Part-IIIA of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 as amended by ministry of law & justice, Government of India.

The Election Commission’s decision dated July 16, 2020, in pursuance of the Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules, 2019, and the Conduct of Elections (Amendment) 2020, had given the facility of voting through postal ballot (PB) to the senior citizens who are above 80 years of age; persons with disability flagged in the database for electoral roll and COVID-19 suspect or affected persons.

The returning officers have started the distribution of application form for postal ballot (Form 12D) for the PWDs and 80 plus elders. Only the PWDs who are flagged in the electoral roll and who possess disability certificate can avail this facility of opting for postal ballot. However, if the PWDs and 80 plus elders wish to cast their vote, they can come out on the poll day and cast their votes physically at their respective polling stations.

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