• The Election Commission said the postal ballot facility for electors above the age of 65 in the Bihar Assembly elections, which would have been the first time it would have been used since the Centre had notified it on June 19, would not be implemented.
• The Election Commission said the decision was taken for the Assembly and the by-elections that are due soon due to logistical challenges.
• It had instructed Bihar authorities to limit the number of electors to 1,000 per polling station due to the pandemic, for which 34,000 additional stations are being set up.
• The Commission has been constantly monitoring the preparedness for the byelections and the General elections in view of this unprecedented environment.
• The EC said the additional polling stations “would entail formidable logistical challenges of mobilising 1.8 lakh more polling personnel and other additional resources including requirement of much larger number of vehicles in Bihar. Similar challenges would be there for the coming by-elections.”
Option available to electors above 80:
• It said the option of postal ballots would be available to electors over 80 years of age, persons with disabilities, essential service workers and those infected with COVID-19 or suspected to be.
• After the Law Ministry notified the extension of postal ballots to electors over 65, several political parties had raised concerns over the decision.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Postal ballot facility
Mains level: Reforms in electoral process