Vote from home for those over 80 years of age

The Election Commission on Saturday said it has started voting from home (VFH) facilities for people above 80 years of age and persons with disabilities in the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka, NDTV reported.

“For the first time, ECI is going to provide this facility to people above 80 years of age. Our team will go there with Form-12D and exercise their right to vote,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajeev Kumar told reporters.

“Though we encourage people above 80 years to come to the polling station, those who cannot avail this facility”, he added.

“Confidentiality will be maintained and the entire process will be videographer”, explained Mr. Kumar. All political parties will be informed whenever there is a movement for voting from home (VFH),” Kumar said.

“For people with disabilities, a mobile application ‘Sambha’ has been introduced, in which they can log in and choose the facility to vote”, the CEC said.

Another mobile application, ‘Suvidha’, has been developed, which is an online portal for candidates to file nominations and affidavits.

“Candidates can also use the facility portal to seek permission for meetings and rallies,” explained a top election official.

ECI has also launched a campaign called Know Your Candidate (KYC) for the benefit of voters.

“Political parties have to inform the voters on their portals and social media platforms why they chose a candidate with a criminal background and gave them a ticket to contest,” Kumar said.

Talking about the Karnataka Assembly elections, he mentioned that 36 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 15 for Scheduled Castes in the 224-constituency state.

There are 5.21 crore voters including 2.59 women voters. This number includes 16,976 centenarians, 4,699 third gender and 9.17 lakh first-time voters.

Also, there are 12.15 lakh voters above 80 years and 5.55 lakh differently abled (PWD).

There are 58,272 polling stations in the state including 24,063 polling stations in urban areas. Each station has an average of 883 voters.

Of these polling stations, 1,320 are women-managed, 224 youth-managed and 224 PWD-managed.

Webcasting will be done at 29,141 polling stations, the CEC said, of which 1,200 are critical polling stations.

Since most polling stations are in schools, these will have “permanent water, electricity, toilets and ramps”. These facilities will be permanent. This is a gift from ECI to schools and school children,” said Kumar, who is on a three-day tour of the state to review the election preparations.

On the question of the possible election date, the CEC said it should be held before May 24, when the term of the current assembly ends. He directed the official agencies to be ready to conduct fair and transparent elections in the state.

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