The Election Commission of India on Thursday decided not to extend postal ballot facility to citizens above 65 yrs of age in Bihar and other impending by-polls. In a notification issued by the poll panel, it said that specially-abled voters, who are above 80 years, and those in essential services and the COVID-19 positive patients in home/institutional quarantine, can vote by postal ballot.
"The age limit for voters to can opt for postal ballot in Lok Sabha and assembly polls had been reduced to 65. However, electors who are above 80 years of age, PwD Voters, the electors engaged in essential services and voters who are COVID-19 positive/suspect in quarantine (home/institutional) can opt for postal ballot in Bihar assembly elections and other by-polls", the Election Commission said.
The Election Commission cited constraints of logistics, manpower and safety protocols of COVID-19 as reasons for not extending the postal ballot facility for voters above 65 years.
Earlier, The EC had extended postal ballot facility for electors above the age of 65 years and COVID-19 patients under home or institutional quarantine.
The decision comes ahead of Bihar assembly election which is expected to take place somewhere between October and November. So far, the postal ballot facility has been reserved only for people over the age of 80 and those people in essential services who are not posted in their home state.