Punjab has over 5.33 lakh voters aged above 80: Chief electoral officer

  • | Monday | 6th December, 2021

Chandigarh, Dec 6 (PTI) In order to ensure the maximum voter turnout in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls, the Election Commission (EC) has allowed the voters aged 80 years and above, persons with disability and COVID-19 patients to exercise their franchise via postal ballots, an election official said on Monday.Punjab"s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Karuna Raju said of the 2.09 crore voters in the state, over 5.33 lakh are above 80 years of age, while over 1.34 lakh fall in the Persons with Disability (PwD) category."We encourage PwD and voters aged above 80 years to cast their votes at the polling stations. However, the EC has provided the postal ballot facility in case their health condition does not allow them to come to the polling stations," he said, adding that those in the PwD category (with more than 40 per cent disability) can also avail a pick-and-drop facility to reach the polling booths.Raju said special arrangements are being made for the NRI voters who have Indian passports, so that they can exercise their franchise in a hassle-free manner.Around 1.5 lakh volunteers from the National Service Scheme (NSS), the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the Bharat Scouts and Guides have been engaged to facilitate the voters, he was quoted as saying in an official statement.On the requirement of security forces during the election, Raju said they have received a demand for 700 companies from the district heads, adding that however, the final requirement will be sent after a review.He informed that the state government has allocated a sufficient budget of Rs 340 crore to conduct the polls.The CEO said to encourage the transgender voters to cast their votes, they are raising awareness with the slogan of "Mahila, Purush Atte Transgender, Loktantar Vich Sab Barabar (men, women, transgender -- all are equal in democracy)".Raju launched 30 mobile vans equipped with LED screens and audio systems, which will crisscross the state to create voter awareness, spread the message of voter registration and voting on polling day.Smaller districts will get one van each, while the bigger districts will be given two vans on which audio-visual messages, video clips and jingles under the SVEEP activities will be played to sensitise people about their voting right, he said.The CEO added that the Special Summary Revision campaign is going on to enrol the eligible voters in categories, including the service voters, PwD, transgender and young voters who are not enrolled so far.Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Nitesh Kumar Vyas held a virtual meeting with all the deputy commissioners-cum-district election officers, police commissioners and senior superintendents of police on Saturday to review the poll preparedness in the state. PTI SUN RC

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