16,900 voters in their 90s; 84,992 above 80; 106-year-old senior-most
Mysore/Mysuru: With the Election Commission of India (ECI) allowing postal ballots for those aged above 80 and people with disabilities, the process has been completed to identify such voters in Mysuru to make arrangements for them to vote.
At a virtual interaction with such voters yesterday, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. K.V. Rajendra assured the senior citizens that all arrangements would be made for them to vote in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
The interaction was held as per the directions of the Election Commission to ascertain if they needed special assistance to enable them to exercise their franchise.
There are 1,057 registered voters who are above 100 years old in Mysuru and the senior-most voter is 106-year-old Ningegowda of H.D. Kote.
There are 16,900 voters in their 90s and 84,992 registered voters who are above 80 years of age in the district.
Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, the DC said that since a week or so, the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) have been conducting a survey of the senior citizens in Mysuru and they have visited each house to ascertain the number of senior citizens.
“This is a process mandated by the Election Commission and we wanted to ascertain if there was a case for people in their 80s, 90s and centenarians to be provided with postal ballot facility in case they are unable to go to the polling booth,” he said.
Postal ballot procedure
As per the Election Commission’s regulation 12(D), elderly persons over 80 and residents with disabilities can utilise the postal voting service. The election officials would go to the voters’ homes to collect their ballots.
The polling officials will distribute ballot papers to each of the voters registered under the initiative. The District Administration will form teams to collect these votes and the teams would visit these residences and collect the votes.
An official explained that this postal ballot facility is different from the one extended to service voters. Here, those willing to use the facility have to fill up a form. Officials then carry the ballot to the residence of such voters and videograph the voting to ensure transparency.
Elders are inspiration: DC
During the virtual interaction, the DC made a few random calls to the centenarians and inquired about their welfare and if they need any special assistance on the voting day. While a majority of the elders said that they would walk to the polling station, a couple of them who were bed-ridden sought special assistance.
Assuring the senior citizens that all arrangements will be made to facilitate their voting, Dr. Rajendra told them that it was inspiring on their part to vote despite their physical condition.
“You are a source of inspiration for the newly registered voters to take part in the democratic exercise seriously,” the DC said.
“At a time when urban and educated voters are staying away from voting, it is inspiring to see senior citizens walk to the polling booth with their Electors Photo Identity Card,” he added.