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Parliamentary panel presses for measures to enable soldiers to vote in time

Members of a Parliamentary panel reviewing proxy voting and postal ballot facilities for armed forces personnel Wednesday pressed for a mechanism to ensure that soldiers posted in far flung areas are able to exercise their franchise in time.



New Delhi: Members of a Parliamentary panel reviewing proxy voting and postal ballot facilities for armed forces personnel Wednesday pressed for a mechanism to ensure that soldiers posted in far flung areas are able to exercise their franchise in time.

At the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence here, several members said there is a need to develop a foolproof infrastructure to ensure that soldiers and those coming under the Army Act are able to cast vote using postal ballot on time, sources said.

There have been complaints that often soldiers and paramilitary personnel do not receive postal ballots on time and as a result they are unable to cast their vote in time.

Besides postal ballot, personnel of armed forces are allowed to use proxy voting facility to cast their vote at constituencies of which they are residents.

Under postal ballot system, ballot papers are distributed or returned by post to electors, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station.

Proxy voting allows armed forces' personnel to authorise their kin to vote in favour of a particular candidate.

The committee today recorded the views of the representatives of the Ministry of Defence on proxy and postal voting by defence services personnel in elections.

The government is exploring the possibility of allowing voting by electronic means to armed forces and paramilitary personnel. The Election Commission has already handed over the Law Ministry a draft framework to allow voting by electronic means for overseas Indians.

But since issues of security and hacking proof computer and internet systems is involved, various government departments are still mulling ways on allowing similar facility to personnel of armed forces and central armed police forces.

Representatives of the Election Commission were also present in the meeting.

From Zee News

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