Postal ballot for SoO, MoU groups

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Imphal: The Election Commission of India, in a notification issued on Friday notified that members of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) groups kept in the designated camps whose names have been enrolled in the Electoral Rolls of the concerned Legislative Assembly constituencies in Manipur and presently residing at various designated camps, as class of voters entitled to vote by postal ballot.

​The decision was taken in exercise of powers conferred by clause (c) of Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and in consultation with the central government. The decision was made considering that a number of persons belonging to the SoO and MoU groups living in the 14 designated camps in Manipur have been enrolled in the Electoral Rolls of various Assembly constituencies of the state. As such, the Election Commission has directed that these electors shall be allowed to vote by Postal Ballot (PB) taking into account the right of franchise of such electors as they cannot move out of the said designated camps.

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​The notification mentioned that a survey shall be made for appropriate location of Postal Ballot Facilitation Centers (PBFC) for distribution, recording, collection of PB in different camps of Suspension of Operation (SoO) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) groups.

​Such proposed Postal Ballot Facilitation Centers will have facilities for ARO’s office, place to record vote, party representatives to watch the proceedings from a distance and collection of recorded votes. Efforts will be made to see that voters are not required to travel more than prescribed limit to cast their vote. Hence, PBFC’s location will be finalized as required.

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​In order to implement the PB facility given to the electors residing in these designated camps in the state for SoO and MoU groups, ARO/nodal officers appointed for these camps will be given responsibility to provide necessary forms and to collect sealed containing PB to be dropped in drop box by the notified electors. The ARO shall further ensure that the marked PBs reach the returning officer well before the commencement of votes.

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