The disabled and people over 80 years of age can now cast their vote through postal ballot, the government said on Saturday, in a move that will help increase voter turnout.
At present, voting through postal ballot is available to armed forces and those assigned poll duties.
On the recommendation of the Election Commission, the Ministry of Law and Justice has amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, on October 22, allowing senior citizens and person with disabilities in the absentee voter list.
The absentee voter refers to a vote cast by someone who is unable to go to the polling station.
Officials said that in both these categories there are people who are unable to reach the polling stations and thus are unable to cast their votes.
"This will enable people from these two categories to cast their votes with ease and will also thus increase the voter turnout," an official said.
The poll officer will attest the absentee voter in the case of senior citizens and person with disability in the form 13A.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, about 60.14 per cent of absentee voters voted through e-postal ballot while in 2014, during the general election, this figure was just 4 per cent.