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Election Commission ready to introduce electronic postal voting for emigrants….

New Delhi: The Central Election Commission (CEC) has said it is ready to introduce electronic postal voting for NRIs in the upcoming Assembly elections in April and May next year, including in Kerala. The Election Commission has informed the Union Law Ministry that it is technically and administratively ready for this.

The Election Commission has also informed the Ministry of Law of the guidelines for registration of electronic postal votes. NRIs wishing to vote must inform the Returning Officer of their desire to vote within five days of the issuance of the election notice. The Returning Officer should then send the ballot paper to the voter via email.

After taking the print out of the ballot paper and registering to vote, the vote should be returned along with the certificate of the Indian Embassy staff in the country of residence. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The Election Commission has stated that it will be the responsibility of the Chief Electoral Officers to deliver postal votes to the respective constituencies.

Currently the postal vote service is only available to voters. If this is to apply to NRIs, the Central Government must amend the Electoral Code of 1961. It does not require the approval of Parliament.

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