Personnel from the armed forces, Central and state police organisations who are domiciles here but are on duty on May 12 can still vote. At least 673 voters from Bengaluru’s 28 assembly constituencies have been enrolled as ‘service voters’, the highest being from Byatarayanapura with 107 service voters.

Suryasen AV, Joint Chief Electoral Officer, said that in Karnataka the electronically transmitted postal ballot system was being used for the first time. “All service voters have been sent the ballot papers on April 28. They have to fill and send them to the returning officer.”

“In a constituency with three to five lakh voters these votes may not matter but in a close contest even 1,500 votes matter,” said Professor Trilochan Sastry, founder member, National Election Watch, Association for Democratic Reforms. There are 27,908 service voters registered in Karnataka for the forthcoming assembly elections, of which 27,461 are men and 447 women. The highest enrolled service voters are in the districts of Belgaum Rural (1,636), Yemkanamardi (1,418), Gokak (1,305), Khanapur (1,226), Kittur (1,193), Hukkeri (1,122).

Service voters can be in any forces to which provisions of Army Act, 1950, are applicable. He or she has an option of either voting through postal ballot or through a proxy voter duly appointed by him/her. A service voter who opts for voting through a proxy is called Classified Service Voter (CSV).

The wife of a service voter, if residing with him, can also become a service voter; however, this facility is not available to the husband of a service voter. The Election Commission introduced the electronically transmitted postal ballot system (ETPBS) in October 2016.

Ramesh KN, Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, told The New Indian Express, “The ballot papers have already been sent through the ETPBS. The returning officer will send a postal ballot paper to him through his record office after downloading and taking a print of it from the software. After he or she indicates her vote in the ballot paper it is sent through registered post to the returning officer. On counting day it has to reach us before 8 am.” In 2013, total votes cast through postal ballot were 1.68 lakh. As many as 36,726 voters were service voters.

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method