Voting by persons with disabilities (PwD), Covid-infected people and those above the age of 80, using postal ballots, began in Dhubri district on Thursday, election officials said.

A senior poll official said the Election Commission has introduced the new system of voting using postal ballots for certain categories of people.

For the normal voters, Dhubri will go to Assam Assembly election 2021 in the third phase, on April 6, 2021.

The polling in the first and second phases of Assam Assembly election will be held on March 27, 2021 and April 1, 2021. The campaigning for the first phase of Assam election ended at 6 pm on Thursday (March 25).

The Election Commission earlier said all voters in the categories of persons with disabilities (PwD), Covid-infected people and those above the age of 80 these would have to apply within five days of notification of elections in their respective Assembly constituencies, if they wish to use the option of postal ballot for voting.

Election officials said a polling team comprising two officials along with a videographer and security staff will then go to the elector’s house along with a voting compartment and get the electors to vote on the postal ballot, maintaining complete secrecy.

The candidates will be provided a list of these electors in advance and will also be sent the schedule of voting and the route chart the polling parties will take so that they can send their representatives to witness the voting process.

The entire exercise will be completed by March 31.

Additional deputy commissioner of Dhubri and officer in-charge of postal ballot, Dhrubajyoti Das disclosed that a total number of 1,327 applications have been accepted from senior citizens and PwDs for postal ballots for three Assembly constituencies under Dhubri sub-division.

The three Assembly constituencies under Dhubri sub-division are Dhubri, Gauripur and Golakganj constituencies.

Of which, 314 voters applied for Dhubri constituency, 397 for Gauripur and 616 voters applied for Golakganj Assembly constituencies.

Meanwhile, the district election officer has appointed 82 sector officers, 82 micro observers and 164 polling officers in a bid to complete the entire process within schedule time-frame.

The Dhubri deputy commissioner, who is also the returning officer said, “In a bid to maintain the transparency and confidential of the voting, the entire process would be recorded by a team of videographers in presence of the polling officials and polling agents.”

The Election Commission rules say that the returning officer (RO) will have to share a list of all such PWD and 80+ electors, whose applications for availing postal ballot facility have been approved by him, with the contesting candidates of recognized political parties in printed hardcopy.

Mukesh Kr Singh

Mukesh Kr Singh is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhubri. He can be reached at: mkdhubri@gmail.com