regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Election Commission announces scheme for Kashmiri migrants to vote in Lok Sabha polls

Any migrant voter other than those who would opt to vote in person can avail option to vote through postal ballots by filing up Form 12C

PTI Jammu Published 23.03.24, 11:14 PM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Election Commission (EC) has announced a comprehensive scheme for Kashmiri migrants to exercise their franchise in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, continuing with the past practice of voting through postal ballots and special polling stations in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi.

The scheme is meant for all the voters of the Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir who had migrated because of compelling circumstances and are temporarily residing in various places outside their places of ordinary residence, an official spokesperson said on Saturday.


He said the EC has issued two notifications, categorising the Kashmiri migrants as "specified" and "notified" voters.

The Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be held in five phases - on April 19 (Udhampur) and April 26 (Jammu) in the Jammu region, and on May 7 (Anantnag-Rajouri), May 13 (Srinagar) and May 20 (Baramulla) in Kashmir. The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4.

The spokesperson said 26 special polling stations - 21 in Jammu, one in Udhampur and four in Delhi - will be set up for the Kashmiri migrant voters who are residing at various relief camps and who opt to cast their votes in person through electronic voting machines.

Any migrant voter other than those who would opt to vote in person can avail the option to vote through postal ballots by filing up Form 12C, the spokesperson said.

All the application forms (Form 12C) duly filled in, requesting for postal ballots, must reach the assistant returning officer in Jammu 10 days before the date of polling in each phase, the spokesperson added.

Additionally, the EC has also notified four assistant returning officers (AROs) - assistant commissioner, relief (migrant), Jammu, assistant commissioner, panchayat, Udhampur, deputy director, horticulture, planning and marketing, Delhi, and the deputy secretary in the office of the resident commissioner, New Delhi -- to assist the returning officers of the three Lok Sabha constituencies of Kashmir in the work concerning the "specified" and "notified" electors.

The spokesperson said the EC has advised the migrant voters to send their Form M for voting in person at any of the "special polling stations" or Form 12C for using postal ballots to the ARO concerned so that the documents reach them 10 days before the polling date.

They can also drop their application forms and later on, their marked postal ballot papers in the special letter boxes, which will also be available at the offices of all the AROs.

Additionally, the EC has extended an online facility for the migrant voters residing at various places other than Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi to download Form M and Form 12C from the poll panel's website or the Voter Services portal.

After filling up the forms, these voters shall approach the office of the electoral registration officer (ERO) of the constituency where they are residing currently, anywhere in the country, the spokesperson said.

He said the EROs can have access to the details of the migrant voters enrolled in different parliamentary constituencies (Assembly segment-wise) in Kashmir through ERO-Net.

The ERO concerned, after verifying the details in Form M, will scan and upload the same to electronically transmit to the AROs, Migrant in Delhi, Jammu and Udhampur for further necessary action, he said, adding that the hard copies so uploaded shall also be sent to the AROs, Migrant in Delhi, Jammu, and Udhampur as the case may be.

Similarly, the ERO concerned will verify the details in Form 12C, sign the certificate in Part-II of the form and scan and upload it to electronically transmit the same to the ARO, Migrant in Jammu, who will take further necessary action to send the postal ballot to the elector concerned. The hard copies so uploaded are to be sent to the ARO, Migrant in Jammu, the spokesperson said.

He said the postal ballots will be sent through speed post to the voters by the ARO Migrant, Jammu.

The voters can send the polled postal ballots through speed post to the returning officer concerned of the parliamentary constituency. The cost of speed post will be paid by the RO concerned.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: