Plea to allow those on poll duty to vote through EVM Jan 20, 2021, 04:00 IST

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Plea to allow those on poll duty to vote through EVM

Madurai: The Madras high court on Tuesday ordered notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and state government on a plea which sought to permit people engaged in election duty to cast their votes through EVM instead of postal ballots in all elections.

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A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and justice M M Sundresh was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by S Pandidurai, a teacher from Theni district.
The petitioner stated that ECI is working with an objective to ensure that 100% votes are cast during elections. As per the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, voters on election duty are entitled to vote by post. However, most of the people who are engaged in election duty are facing hardships to cast their votes through the present system of postal ballots due to several procedures..
According to a study during the Tamil Nadu state legislative assembly election in 2011, of the total 3,07,174 voters only 1,29,413 postal votes were cast. Of the total 1,29,413 postal votes cast, 23,319 were declared invalid.
He further stated that when compared to the polling percentage through postal ballots system, the polling percentage is more in the EVMs. He suggested that special EVMs can be set up for those deployed on election duty at all the constituencies and polling can be conducted a few days prior or after the election for such people instead of the present postal ballot system.
Since there was no response to the representation, the petitioner moved the HC Madurai bench seeking the authorities to ensure 100% votes are cast by those engaged on election duty. tnn

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