Keeping in mind the safety of senior citizens amid rising cases of the coronavirus, the age limit for voters to opt for postal ballot in Lok Sabha and assembly elections has been reduced.
After the coronavirus outbreak in India, Bihar will be the first state to have assembly polls. And voters of Bihar will be the first to benefit from the amended rules.
In October 2019, the Law Ministry amended the Conduct of Election Rules to allow people with disabilities and those who are 80 years of age or above to opt for postal ballot during Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
Now, on June 19, the ministry notified a fresh change in the rules, allowing those aged 65 years and above to opt for postal ballot.
While amending the rules on the suggestions of the Election Commission, the ministry also allowed "COVID 19 suspect or affected persons" to use the postal ballot facility.
The age limit was reduced as "people who are 65 and above are vulnerable" to the coronavirus, explained an EC official.
The EC had approached the government to tweak the rule as pandemic could continue till the end of the year.
As of now, people who come under the category of those allowed to use postal ballot have to fill form 12D to avail the facility.
The election rules are amended after the Law Minister approves changes.